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Are you ready to try your hand at Canva? Canva is one of my favorite programs.

What is Canva? Canva is an online website that allows you to design many different types of graphics for your personal or business use and the best part is….SO MUCH OF IT IS FREE! And only $1.00 for each image that’s not. You can also upload your own images to use in your creations.

Canva helps you create presentations, Facebook covers, email headers, business cards, flyers and so much more. They also provides you with online tutorials to help you become an awesome design creator! 🙂 Canva is simple to use, customizable and so much fun!

Check out this article from Infusionsoft to see how easy it is to create an email header to use for your newsletters.

I thoroughly enjoy using Canva for many of my graphics projects. I would love to see your creations too! If you would like to share, please email them to me

Virtually Yours,

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Database?

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Database?

Imagine how much simpler your life would be if you had all your business contacts together in one place. One click of your mouse would reveal how effective your latest marketing campaign has been. Know at a glance which of your products/services is the most profitable.

Your custom-designed database will put this information right at your fingertips. I’d like to share with you my tips for ensuring that your database gives you the business information you need, when you need it!

What is a database?
A database is a collection of information relating to a particular topic kept together in one place, for you to access whenever you need. You can use a database to simplify your:

MARKETING CAMPAIGN – set up a database to plan your marketing campaign; track results of your marketing campaign; or analyze trends in your marketing campaign.

CLIENT & CONTACT MANAGEMENT – set up a database to keep track of your clients and contacts; analyze your business; which products/services are the most profitable; or see which clients are buying which product/service.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – set up a database to keep track of your spending; manage your invoices to clients; or monitor overdue invoices.

MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATIONS – set up a database to keep track of members; send out membership renewal letters; or monitor subscriptions.

Your list for database uses will likely be much longer–just brainstorm a list of all the places where consolidated information would make your life easier!

The secret’s in the planning. You want to get the most out of your database, right? Then make sure to plan it right from the start.

Before you go running off to set up your database you need to ask yourself these important questions:

  • What do you want to use your database for?
  • What data do you want to keep track of?
  • Who will be collecting the data?
  • How much data is there to collect – 50 records or 500 records?
  • Who will be doing the updates?
  • What reports do you want your database to generate?

You may find it easiest to map this out on a piece of paper first. Work out how your database is going to fit together. How will each category relate to the others?

Get the maximum use out of your database
By now, you’ve invested a lot of time in your database plans, design, and setup. Don’t miss this important step – getting the most out of your creation.

First, you’ll want to make the database as easy to use as possible. Create one-click touches to produce the information you need. Set up shortcuts so you can create the most important reports quickly. And make sure you really consider the easiest way to enter new data.

There’s a plethora of database software on the market. Just Google database software and you can spend hours reading through the options. Or you can use the old standby…an Excel spreadsheet or Microsoft Access. There are also different types of databases depending on your needs. There are Desktop databases, server databases (for computer systems) and web-based database programs. Choose the one that works for you.

Whatever database option you choose, by applying this advice in your own database, yours will be easy to use AND have the maximum use value to you!

Virtually yours,

Why Small Organizations Mean Big Business

Why Small Organizations Mean Big Business

In the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, the sub-plot aside from the love angle is that the heroine (played by Meg Ryan) was forced out of business when the big-time bookstore owner (played by Tom Hanks) moved into town.

Meg’s character owned a quaint little bookstore which she inherited from her mother. Although the prices of her books were a little steep, she makes up for it in service. She packs the books in a specialized bag, and she knows all of her customers by name.

Tom’s character, on the other hand, moved into town to build a branch of a big chain-bookstore which offered discounted prices and a huge building, as compared to Meg’s little bookshop on one corner of the town’s streets.

In the end, Meg was forced out of business because her customers went to Tom’s monstrous bookshop.

Nowadays, this situation will not hold true anymore.

More and more small organizations are paving the way and giving big businesses a shot of their own medicine.

In the movie, the reason why Meg Ryan was forced out of business is because she cannot profit anymore. Her prices are steep as compared to the other big business’ discounted rates.

Her only edge is that she gives personal service, she knows her customers by name and she has a very small staff, about 2 or 3 employees.

As a small organization you may have these qualities as your edge to compete against the big sharks in business. Small businesses have big competition. This means that you need to know how to survive out there. No matter what nature of business you have, it is better to learn about the competition so that you will be able to survive.

Here are some tips on how you can hold your own against a big business:

1) Keep your business alive. When it seems as if your cash flow is in a downward slope, keep a tight rein on your budget. Do not spend on unnecessary business purchases and always balance your books. If you are one to buy on impulse or if you are the type to listen to those who sweet-talk you into purchasing “necessary” items, control yourself. Get a second and third opinion if possible, as these impulsive buys may lead to the end of your small organization.

2) Do not be afraid to seek professional help. The fall of most small businesses start with decisions on problems which are not carefully analyzed. Although you think that you already have a contingency plan, make sure that you have foreseen the results of a certain business decision. In the long run, it is better to seek professional help rather than embark on a plan that could start the downfall of your business.

3) Keep your books straight. The better option is for you to hire a professional outside accountant to figure the returns of your investment and handle the other financial aspects of your business.

4) Take advantage of every free business consultation whenever available. This does not just help widen your knowledge, but it will also give you an idea of how other businesses are run by small-scale owners.

5) Know exactly where your business is headed. In your day-to-day operations, make sure that you know where you want your company to be 5 or 10 years from now. Be always aware of the trends in the industry that you are in, practice good money management and learn how to recognize potential problems before they arise.

6) Learn how to market your small organization. Marketing is not about trying to sell your products and services to everyone. It is about knowing who to market your products to. In marketing, it is good to remember these fast facts:

Know about your customers.

Communicate with your customers.

Build a good and personalized relationship with your customers.

This will be a great edge for you to have against the bigger companies. They might offer discounted prices but it is harder for them to keep track of customers on a more personal basis. Do not stop the marketing process. As a small organization, you need to routinely review the markets that you need to pursue so that you can better reach out to your customers.

Remember, small organizations are big businesses these days so do not be afraid to work hard for the company that you have – no matter how small. If you work hard, make wise business decisions, learn how to market your small business and personalize your customer interaction, your small-scale business is sure to rise to the top.

Virtually Yours,

Creating Infographics with PowerPoint

Creating Infographics with PowerPoint

Infographics are a great way of sharing important information or step-by-step instructions. It allows you to present data visually in a clear, simple manner, which allows readers to follow along easily and offers them the ability to refer back to the information at a glance. Using images in social media and newsletters is key in today’s market as it draws attention to your message and brand, which can ultimately increase your conversions. Creating infographics can be a fun way to take your business to another level and you can use PowerPoint to do just that.

I found this awesome article from Hubspot, a fantastic website focused on marketing, that I refer to frequently when working with clients as they offer many tips and strategies for marketing.  This article also has templates you can download to create your infographics. Find all the info and templates HERE!

Virtually Yours,

Font Squirrel

Font Squirrel

If you enjoy creating quote graphics or sales page banners or anything that involves using various types of fonts, you’ll find Font Squirrel to be an awesome resource for providing you with unique fonts to express the emotion you want to convey. An example is shown for each font and they also provide a font filter, allowing you to search by different categories.. All fonts are 100% free for commercial use, with exception to the ‘Almost Free’ tab.

There are 19 pages of fonts, in alphabetical order by name, with a download link beside each example. They also have a sidebar widget, showing the font categories and the number of different fonts in each category, which you can click and be brought to a specific category page. Font Squirrel  is quick and easy for finding and downloading fonts to use for all types of applications, giving a unique look to your message or brand.

Virtually Yours,