Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Get the Constant Contact Advantage!

How can you grow your business with email campaigns, manage event promotion and registration, turn fans into customers, and get new customers with local campaigns - without spending lots of time, money, and energy?  Get the Constant Contact advantage! 

When I first started my own business, I had a list of approx 10 people. So it was easy for me to send my own emails and newsletters.  I never dreamed of hosting my own events.  Facebook was someplace my kids hung out.  And the local campaigns craze had taken off yet. 

Fortunately, things have changed since then.  My list has grown substantially. Events have become second nature.  I am actually on Facebook.  And even I have used services such as GroupOn and Living Social. 

Unfortunately, all of this has made it necessary for me to have help.  Luckily, I was already prepared for this. Because I discovered a great resource called "Constant Contact". I was fortunate enough to learn about them back in 2007 when I was just starting. And I have been impressed with them ever since.

Constant Contact offers email marketing, social campaigns, and other products and services. The email marketing service is one of the best I've seen. The templates are easy to use. And they have an anti-spam checker so your email actually gets delivered.

Do you host events for your business?  Constant Contact's EventSpot provides all of the tools necessary to manage your events online.  Create invitations, registration forms and event webpages, process payments, and track RSVPs all in one place.  I wish I know about this when I was an event planner.  I would have recommended it to many of my clients!

I have only recently signed up for the Social Campaigns service. Social campaigns are special landing pages created and published to your Facebook Business Page. If you don't have a page yet, they will even create one for you! I must admit, I am not a huge Facebook fan. But I do understand its value. So the Social Campaigns service is perfect for me.

In addition to email and social campaigns, there is a new service call SaveLocal. SaveLocal lets you sell shareable deals to your customers that they can then share with others who may not yet be customers. It sounds like a great way to build more business. I can't wait to give it a try.

Constant Contact's leading email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and local deals help all types of small businesses and organizations find new customers, drive repeat business, and generate referrals. Today, more than half a million customers worldwide trust Constant Contact to help them drive success.  I am one of them.  You should be too.  In fact, I am so impressed with them, that Constant Contact is one of the affiliate products I promote.  So if you do click on the link and sign up for their services, not only will you have made a wise investment in your own business, you will help me earn a commission.  Thanks!     

Sunday, February 17, 2013

6 Steps to a Stress-Free Organized Office

Working from a home office can be challenging.  Space can be minimal, making it difficult to find places to work, store files, or place equipment.  Rid yourself of this stress by following the following tips for organizing your office space, no matter how small. 

1.  Declutter.  Get rid of everything you don't need.  This includes old files, equipment you don't use - everything.  If you haven't touched it in a year or more, remove it from your office.  If you think you may possibly need some of the files, put them in a box made specifically for storing paper files and move them into the garage, attic, or some other out-of-the-way place.  Equipment (like the old desktop computer I never use anymore) can be given away or sold. 

2.  Store.  Find places for everything you decided to keep.  Install some sturdy shelves to hold books and office supplies.  Use file trays to organize and prioritize work in progress.  Place materials in a basket that you can place on a shelf when not in use.  Use storage boxes on your shelves to organize files.  You can purchase these in a wide variety of colors, designs, and sizes to bring some color and
personality to your office while still keeping papers under control.    

3.  Save space.  If you don't have a room for your office, don't worry.  A roll top or drop-leaf desk in the living room can give you work space when you need it but be unobtrusive when not in use.  My first office was in my bedroom.  An armoire gave me a place to work and store my supplies, but could be closed up when I wasn't working.  A sturdy shelf in the corner of the laundry room, a file cabinet next to the kitchen counter, roll-away file cabinets that can be placed near the kitchen or dining room table when needed but moved out of the way when necessary can all turn any room in the house into a home office.

4.  Organize your workspace.  Keep items that you use regularly such as pens and pencils where you can easily reach them.  Use old jam jars or glasses, small baskets or tins, or even the old soup cans covered in wallpaper or wrapping paper (remember making those as a kid?) as an inexpensive place to hold pencils, pens, rubber bands, paper clips, or other small supplies.  My husband mounted a pegboard inside one door of my office armoire and corkboard on the other which gave me a place to keep things organized right within reach.

5.  Schedule your workday.  Use a desktop calendar, the organizer on your smartphone, or whatever means works for you.  I borrowed an idea from my daughter that she uses to keep track of her family's busy schedule.  Since my schedule can change quickly, I have a dry-erase calendar in my office that I can erase and update as needed.  Make a daily to-do list to ensure you take care of the most important items each day.  Have your daily or weekly goals posted where you can see them to remind you of what you need to put on your schedule. 

6.  Don't take work home.  I know this sounds impossible when you work from a home office, but I mean it.  First, by keeping everything in its place in your office you will be more organized when you are at work.  Second, part of being organized is finding time for your personal life while running your business.  When the work day is finished, then it is time to close up your office, leave work in its place, and concentrate on family, friends, and yourself.