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Sharon Baillie

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basically business Newsletter 2018

Every month we send subscribers our basically business newsletter. Each newsletter contains easily implemented business tips and advice as well as an interview with a small business owner. To ensure you receive your copy first sign up here

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018


Goal Setting for the New Year

Are you getting smashed by goal setting emails at the moment?

The more emails I receive the bigger the failure I feel.
I even took time out to spend on identifying the things I want to do, be and have in 2018, and I still feel inadequate.

So, I decided enough is enough. It’s time for goal setting on my terms.
And that’s what it should be. YOUR TERMS!

All those free downloads and the checklists are someone else’s process for goal setting and sure you might find one that works for you among the multitude of web pages but ultimately you have to trust yourself to know what is right for you.

Last week I spent some time reflecting on a year that was, in simple terms, uncomfortable. Further pondering has led me to accept that there were positive times and that if I didn’t learn the lessons thrust upon me, I can at least acknowledge the awareness of them. I read an article that reminded me not to dwell on the mistakes I had made during the course of the year as I had probably already beat myself up enough at the time and that there was no point in doing so again. That was freeing!! So, I give you permission to dump it all too – RIGHT NOW!

Setting goals is a journey that we take control of, rather than letting life and circumstances control us.

I acknowledge that the scientific facts and the blind tests and whatever other mind-altering experiments all prove that goal setting works and the clearer you are in determining your goals the more likely the chance that they will come to fruition. But like most things in life it doesn’t have to be complicated. Unfortunately we have been led to believe that the more complex and convoluted it is the better the outcome. And while SIMPLIFY is not my word for 2018, simplifying should be a process we all undertake, daily. (By the way my word for 2018 is CONNECT)

The entire process can be as simple as 1 – 2 – 3.
1 – Start with an idea – something better for ourselves.
2 – Choose to have it make an impact on our lives.
3 – Create the plan.

Ideas will never come to pass without us taking some action towards their implementation.

We write it, we read it, we take steps to make it happen. The more we write it and read it and take steps the more likely it will happen. Logical and simple!

And then comes the kicker!!

It’s here where we start to get ahead of ourselves – if it’s that simple why not create 10, 15 or more goals.
All of a sudden our journey is hijacked, we get overwhelmed and nothing is achieved. I know I’ve been here before, I have the templates and guidelines to prove it.

So this year, along with my word of the year, I created simple statements for the major areas of my life where I am looking to improve. And upon review, these statements already included specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely actions – who would have thought?!
The final step for me now is to set reminders in my calendar (and phone) to check in and review both my plans and myself to keep on the right track.

 

Enjoy the journey, and if goal setting just becomes all too hard – keep in mind that you are enough, just as you are, right now.

Let me know your successful goal setting processes.

 

As an online business manager I am mentoring a small number of business owners during 2018 so if you are seeking assistance or accountability, connect with me to ensure your success.

Size Matters

 

Ever feel like your eyes need testing as you scroll through your social media news feed!

It’s ok it’s not you.

Many of the blurred pictures you see are due to photos being copied or duplicated and used over and over again. This creates poor images and is against copyright legislation.

Each platform has specific requirements in regards to sizing and formats to get the best results for your visuals. Many of the platforms auto resize your uploaded images to suit their layout, so preparing them to their recommended size will give maximum impact.

Unfortunately, sizing images correctly for social media is no simple task and even following the guidelines, photo dimensions vary according to where and how it’s shared — from cover photos, to timeline images, to profile pictures.

Programs such as Canva and Relay are great for ready-made templates for various uses including social media timelines, cover and profile pictures. Then others such as Pablo by Buffer create visuals only for Facebook and Instagram timelines.

 

TIP: Take the opportunity when creating your own visuals to include a logo, watermark, web address or social media handle, discreetly of course, to be sure that any credits come back to you when the post goes viral!

 

Use this quick reference cheat sheet to ensure you have your sizing correct.

 

Social Media Visual Cheat Sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download your copy of SIZE MATTERS

Now there is no excuse for blurry images or breaching copyright!


Social Media Glossary

SM 101 TermThere are so many terms that are used within social media it can be confusing for those that are new to the world of social media. This glossary will help you navigate your way –

A

Algorithm – An algorithm is a set of formulas developed for a program to perform a certain function. This is important in the social sphere as the algorithms sites like Facebook and Google use are critical for developing content promotion strategies.

Avatar – An avatar is an image or username that represents a person online, usually within forums and social networks.

B

Bio – A bio on social media refers to a short piece of text that explains who the user is.

Blog – Blog was created from “web log.” Blogs are usually maintained by an individual or a business with regular entries of content on a specific topic, description of events, or other resources such as graphics or video. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

C

Chat – Chat can refer to any kind of communication over the internet but traditionally refers to one-to-one communication through a text-based chat application, often referred to as instant messaging (IM) applications.

Comment – A comment is a response that is often provided as an answer or reaction to a status post or message on a social network.

Connections – The LinkedIn equivalent of a Facebook ‘friend’.  As LinkedIn is a social networking site, the people you are connecting with are not necessarily people you are friends with, but rather professional contacts that you’ve met, heard speak, done business with, or know through another connection.

Content – describes text, pictures, video and any other meaningful material that is on the Internet

Conversion Rate – refers to a common metric tracked in social media that is the percentage of people who completed an intended action (i.e. filling out a form, following a social

D

Direct Message – Direct messages — also referred to as DM — are private conversations that occur on Instagram/Twitter.

E

Ebook – is an electronic version of a book. However, most ebooks are not actually available in print (unless you print them). These are typically published in PDF form. For marketers, ebooks commonly serve as lead generating content .

Endorsement – An endorsement on LinkedIn refers to an instance in which another LinkedIn user recognizes you for one of the skills you have listed on your profile.

Engagement Rate – is a popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction — likes, shares, comments — a piece of content receives.

F

Facebook – is a social media platform. The site connects people with friends, family, acquaintances, and businesses from all over the world and enables them to post, share, and engage with a variety of content such as photos, videos and status updates. The platform currently boasts around 1.49 billion active users.

Fans – Fans is the term used to describe people who like your Facebook Page.

Forums – Also known as a message board, a forum is an online discussion site. It originated as the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board, and a technological evolution of the dial-up bulletin board system.

Follower – In a social media setting, a follower refers to a person who subscribes to your account in order to receive your updates.

Friends – Friends is the term used on Facebook to represent the connections you make and the people you follow. These are individuals you consider to be friendly enough with you to see your Facebook profile and engage with you.

G

Geotag – A geotag is the directional coordinates that can be attached to a piece of content online. For example, Instagram users often use geotagging to highlight the location in which their photo was taken.

GIF – GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. In social media, GIFs serve as small-scale animations and film clips

Group – This can be public or private, and gives users the chance to come together to talk about a specific subject in one place.

H

Handle – Handle is the term used to describe someone’s @username on Twitter.

Header image – A header image refers to the large photo displayed at the top of your profile on Twitter. The header image is also commonly referred to as the banner image on LinkedIn or the cover image on Facebook.

Hangout – is a video service on Google+ that allows you to video chat with up to 10 Google+ users are a time. You can name these chats, watch YouTube videos during them, open a Google Doc with colleagues, and much more.

Hashtag – A hashtag is a tag used on a variety of social networks as a way to annotate a message. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a “#”. Social networks use hashtags to categorize information and make it easily searchable for users.

Hyperlink – is the direct connection to specific online material

I

Inbox – the mailbox that receives your online mail.

K

L

Lead-Generation – usually the exchange of free content (eg ebook) for email address or other personal information

Like – A Like is an action that can be made by a Facebook or Instagram user. Instead of writing a comment or sharing a post, a user can click the Like button as a quick way to show approval.

Link – see Hyperlink

Live streaming – Live streaming is the act of delivering content over the internet in real-time.

Lurker – A lurker online is a person who reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, social network, or other interactive system, but rarely or never participates in the discussion.

M

Mashup – A content mashup contains multiple types of media drawn from pre-existing sources to create a new work. Digital mashups allow individuals or businesses to create new pieces of content by combining multiple online content sources.

Meme – A meme on the internet is used to describe a thought, idea, joke, or concept that’s widely shared online. It is typically an image with text above and below it, but can also come in video and link form.

Mention – A mention is a Twitter term used to describe an instance in which a user includes someone else’s @username in their tweet to attribute a piece of content or start a discussion.

N

News Feed – A news feed is literally a feed full of news. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of users’ accounts where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.

Notification – A low importance message either generated automatically or as a result of a friend’s action

P

Page – This is your business profile or “page” where customers can find your posts and business information.

Personal Message – Personal messaging (PM) is a form of real-time, direct text-based communication between two or more people. More advanced instant messaging software clients also allow enhanced modes of communication, such as live voice or video calling. Also known as Direct Messaging and Instant Messaging

Permalink – is an address or URL of a particular post within a blog or website that remains indefinitely unchanged.

Platforms – the various online products to assist users online eg social media

Podcast – A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually audio, that are released episodically and often downloaded through an RSS feed.

Post – also known as a status update. These may include text, pictures, links videos and audios.

Privacy – knowing and understanding the security settings for each platform will ensure that you are aware what data you are making available to the world.

Profile – A personal page created for individual use. It is the personal details of you online.

Profile Picture – The image that represents you or your business. This is a smaller photo that shows up alongside all of your posts.

Q

R

Reach – The number of people who saw your post. This includes the number of people you reached through organic and paid reach.

Reaction – a variation to the standard “Like” for Facebook. FB also offers variations during holiday times.

Recommendation – A recommendation on LinkedIn is a term used to describe a written note from another LinkedIn member that aims to reinforce the user’s professional credibility or expertise.

RSS Feed – RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blogs and videos in a standardized format. Content publishers can syndicate a feed, which allows users to subscribe to the content and read it when they please from a location other than the website (such as Feedly or other RSS readers).

RSS Reader –  allows users to aggregate articles from multiple websites into one place using RSS feeds. The purpose of these aggregators is to allow for a faster and more efficient information consumption.

S

Search Engine Optimisation  – is the process of improving the volume or quality of unpaid traffic to a website from search engines.

Schedule – to set social media posts for future dates.

Selfie – is a self-portrait that is typically taken using a smartphone or by using a selfie stick (a pole that attaches to your camera). Selfies are commonly shared on social media networks using the hashtag #selfie.

Share – to forward another’s post to your own timeline for viewing by others

Social Media Monitoring – is a process of monitoring and responding to mentions related to a business that occur in social media.

Social Proof – refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people seek direction from those around them to determine how they are supposed to act or think in a given situation. In social media, social proof can be identified by the number of interactions a piece of content receives or the number of followers you have. The thought is that if others are sharing something or following someone, it must be good.

Social Selling – is a sales concept in which representatives leverage the power of social communication to engage with prospects by answering their questions, providing helpful content, clarifying information, etc.

Status – a post to a personal or business social media profile

T

Tag – Tagging is a social media functionality commonly used on Facebook and Instagram that allows users to create a link back to the profile of the person shown in the picture or targeted by the update.

Timeline – a record of events from your social media life that you (or your friends) have posted

Trending Topic – refer to the most talked about topics and hashtags on a social media network. These commonly appear on networks like Twitter and Facebook and serve as clickable links in which users can either click through to join the conversation or simply browse the related content.

Tribe – a group of followers

Troll – A troll or internet troll refers to a person who is known for creating controversy in an online setting. They typically hang out in forums, comment sections, and chat rooms with the intent of disrupting the conversation on a piece of content by providing commentary that aims to evoke a reaction.

U

User-Generated Content – is content — blogs, videos, photos, quotes, etc. — that is created by consumers. Marketers typically tap into their audience in an online setting to collect this type of content to support a campaign or initiative.

URL – an address on the world wide web

V

Viral – is a term used to describe an instance in which a piece of content — YouTube video, blog article, photo, etc. — achieves noteworthy awareness. Viral distribution relies heavily on word of mouth and the frequent sharing of one particular piece of content all over the internet.

Vlogging – or a vlog is a piece of content that employs video to tell a story or report on information. Vlogs are common on video sharing networks like YouTube.

W

Wall –A wall is a section on a Facebook profile where others can write messages, post pictures etc.

Webinar – is an online seminar or presentation that is hosted by an individual or a company. Most often, the host requires attendees to fill out a form before granting them access to stream the audio and slides. In marketing, webinars are held to educate audiences about a particular topic while opening up the floor for a discussion to occur on social media using the webinar’s unique hashtag.

YZ


The Importance of Business Branding

White office, whiteboard

Branding is more than just a logo – when people hear your name they conjure up a set of impressions that influence how they think and buy.

What are people saying about you?

SO what is BRANDING?

Branding is everything! 

It’s the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the consumers’ mind that signifies and differentiates itself from others.

Branding is a perception.

And in the words of Darryl Kerrigan – it’s the vibe.

 

Many businesses assume that putting together a logo and a tagline is enough to encourage customers to come running but it is SO much more! When done right your brand is your promise to your customers.

Defining your brand story is the first step towards creating the impression that you wish your customer to perceive.  It’s your why that becomes the starting (and ending) point and it is from here that taglines, logos and colours are created.

Graphic designers will use your story to create a mood that will resonate with potential clients. Knowing what colours stirs which emotions helps in the process but choosing 3-5 colours will avoid confusing customers.  Research now also shows that fonts can create certain moods.

Foe example, using pale pink colours with a curly script for a defined target market of 40-50 year old males is not a good branding decision even if, as the brand owner that is your favourite. Or using dark browns and blues with block font for 14-16 year old girls.

Additionally creating a logo that quickly identifies your brand is not always easy. It should be able to be replicated in all print formats including screen and embroidery. A logo doesn’t have to define your business name – that is what a tagline is for.

Your logo, font and colours make up your design pallet and by sticking to this pallet across the various social media and online platforms you display consistency with your messaging. If you choose to use traditional forms of print advertising/marketing these same details come into play.

 

The aim is to protect and project your brand through every representation of your business in the marketplace. Eg emails, voice messages, website. This also applies to members of your team.

 

Branding is also how you dress when meeting (potential) customers/clients. If you are a professional brand or relaxed and casual will determine the choices you make in presenting you and your brand. If you make and sell surfboards meeting a client in thongs is acceptable, not so if you are presenting to a Board of Directors.

It’s how and what you say in public and online. Are you well-spoken or is slang a part of you and your brand?

Branding can be about the value you add in every exchange. Some brands include notes or samples when posting orders to customers. It can be as simple as “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

A well-managed brand will create a strong emotional connection within the marketplace, and a strong emotional connection attracts and fosters loyal customer behaviour.

Make sure that at every moment your brand conveys the message you want to be sending.

Marketing is what you do
Branding is what you are

 

Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss ways of conveying your brand message to your customers. Book now


basically business Newsletter 2017

Every month we send our subscribers our basically business newsletter. Each newsletter contains easily implemented business tips and advice as well as an interview with a small business owner. To ensure you receive your copy first sign up here

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017


Invoicing and your Business

basic invoicing

Spreadsheets work too!

In order to maintain cash flow in your business it is important to invoice your customers promptly and ensure that the payment process is easy.

This process should begin from the first customer transaction by including your terms and conditions at the proposal/quotation stage.

You should take steps to obtain all your customers business (and if necessary personal) information to set up their account.

Invoice Information

Your invoice should have all the information your customer needs to know to pay you on time and as well as details for your own bookkeeping.

 

Business details to include

  • business name and if applicable trading name
  • postal address and or email address, website address, contact telephone and facsimile numbers
  • Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Name (ACN)

 

Customer details to include

  • customer’s contact details including mailing and/or email address and phone number
  • customer number (if applicable)
  • details of the person that placed the order
  • name of the person responsible for paying the invoice. Addressing the invoice to the right person may help in getting faster payment
  • a purchase order number (if applicable) or contract agreement dates. A PO is your customers reference to the account and may be required when talking with your customer about the order.

 

The Invoice

  • The date you raise and send the invoice. This is especially important if your invoice has payment terms such as ’30 days from invoice date or 30 days from End of Month’.
  • Invoice number. This is useful for your bookkeeping records, as a reference if talking to your customer or when following up unpaid invoices.
  • Job number (if applicable).
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) If you are registered for GST you must include this on your invoice. The document must be called a Tax Invoice. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires specific company and sales information to be included to issue a valid tax invoice.
    If you are not registered for GST you can only issue an invoice.
  • amount due
  • description of goods. List the products or services provided.
    Itemising can help if referring back to the invoice at a later date.
  • payment terms
  • payment due date
  • payment options, standard options are direct deposit, credit card, EFTPOS, cash
  • direct banking details, BSB number and bank account number, bank account name. The bank and branch may be included but are not necessary.
  • reference detail to be included in the transaction to identify their payment. This will assist with bookkeeping records.

 

Using accounting software

There are many paid and free accounting software packages that will generate invoices from the business information that you completed in the set-up process. Ensure that all customer information is recorded correctly.

 

Basic processes for fast payment

To encourage your customers to pay your invoices on time your business should:

  • invoice in a timely manner. For ongoing/recurring services invoice on the same date each month or at regular intervals. For goods and services invoice when the order is completed.
  • consider invoicing at the start of large projects by obtaining a deposit.
  • stay in contact with customers, good customer service will go a long way to resolve any disputes early. It is also a good opportunity to ensure client information is kept up to date.
  • include your payment options and details on all invoices.
  • follow up promptly if payments are over the due date.

 

Record Keeping

It is not necessary that you pay for or use online software accounting packages. Many businesses can and do operate on sending invoices from templated word documents and updating their record keeping on spreadsheets. What is necessary is ensuring that the correct information is recorded on all documentation.

 

If you need assistance with your bookkeeping or would like a basic spreadsheet to keep your records out of an old shoebox, contact Baillie Admin Services


Facebook Do’s & Dont’s

 

And here is your copy to print and keep.


Virtual Assistants – Asset not Expense

Virtual Assistant is an Asset to your business

A VA is an asset in your business

I recently connected with another virtual assistant – virtually of course – and our discussion led to the mindset of business owners and their outlook on virtual assistants. We each have clients that swear by using a virtual assistant for their business but there are plenty of others that don’t see the value.

In my last post (Are you running your business) I covered some occasions that indicate when it might be time to consider using a VA but it is time business owners see a virtual assistant as an asset to their business.

EXPENSE — An expense is a cost to the business

 

Stop seeing the $ per hour

 

ASSET — An asset is a cost that will add value to the business

 

Start seeing the bottom line $

 

Cost Cutting

Utilising the services of a virtual assistant is a great way of streamlining your costs without seriously impacting your budget – it is estimated that through using a VA costs can be streamlined by up to 40%. By managing their own business they are accountable for all expenses related to the VA business so by hiring a virtual assistant you avoid all the costs of meeting staff employment.

A VA is only paid for hours worked and not all the down time that occurs with having staff.

 

Productivity Increases

Your productivity increases immediately when you outsource to a VA. With the tasks delegated to a Virtual Assistant you can focus on the important core tasks that drive your business. No more procrastinating on the tasks you don’t want to do.

You become more efficient and because your VA is effectively a “Mini Me’ more tasks can be completed in the same timeframe.

If you are an asset within your business then so is your Virtual Assistant.

 

Masters of their Trade

In today’s online world VAs can offer a large variety of skills and have knowledge of tools and programs across many industries. They are working with many platforms that can assist you and your business processes to be more efficient.

Due to the nature of their work they can also educate themselves on new products quicker than most.

As they are undertaking these skills for multiple businesses they are masters of their trade.

A Virtual Assistant loves running a business – it’s what they are good at. What are you good at?

 

Stress Relief

Time away from your business can lead to missed opportunities and on the flip side being overworked can lead to fatigue that can be detrimental to your business and your physical well-being. All work and no play ….

Having a Virtual Assistant on-board will afford you what you can’t afford for yourself: time.

 

Flexibility

A virtual assistant makes it possible to establish flexibility in your business.  This can enable you to create the ideal business environment for you. It can also allow you to deal with unpredictable business conditions.

A virtual assistant is the secret weapon that many businesses are including in their business plans.

 

 

Remember a skilled VA will anticipate, collaborate and manage your business as if it was their own – – because it is!

 

Baillie Admin Services offers Virtual Assistant Services and we would love to be that highly valuable ASSET to your business.


Are you running your BUSINESS? Or is your business running YOU?

Do I really need a Virtual Assistant?

Think about this –

You have no life outside of your business

You are in constant overload

You’ve missed important milestones in your business and personal life

You have an admin pile – not a file

You’re spending too much time on tasks you don’t understand

You’re doing things you don’t love in your business

Your routine tasks are boring you

You have no time for business development

You’ve blown a business opportunity because you missed a deadline

You no longer have time to be creative

You’re missing the fun part of your business

Did you find yourself answering yes to these statements?
Download the Checklist Do I need a Virtual Assistant?.

 

You thought that when you started your business you could have that work/life balance that everyone talks about. You would spend dedicated time on your business and then be able to make the transition to home life – clean and simple. You would even be able to see the kids’ performances at school. However without knowing just when it happened, you have found that the majority of your time is spent working and you are now spending very little time relaxing, socialising, enjoying family time, etc. Chances are, even when you do take time for yourself you are still worrying about all of the things that aren’t getting done.

 

You started your business because you had a passion or a great idea, you probably didn’t realise that the administration side of your business could and would take over from what you are actually trying to achieve. You know that there are so many administrative tasks in your business that you can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t and you don’t do – that your time is better spent working on the revenue raising aspects of your business so why would you spend that time on Google and YouTube trying to educate yourself on a task or wasting your precious time on those routine tasks that are so boring. You know the hourly value of your time why use it doing something you hate – usually anything to do with your accounts. Sure all these tasks must be completed but is it really necessary that they are completed by you.

 

Now that your business is booming you have a list of all these wonderful ideas in your head that you would like to implement into your business. Unfortunately unless you are taking time out to consider strategic planning as well as business development, which includes attending networking events, your business will not continue to grow.

 

It’s also possible you’ve become so overwhelmed with doing business that you are no longer following your passion for your business. It all started out as fun but somewhere along the line it’s become a chore. You are probably alternating between feeling like you are in constant overload and feeling guilty that you are not giving your attention to the situation at hand.

 

These are sure signs you are in need of someone to take a bit of the burden – a virtual assistant can be handling your everyday tasks while you work on what’s important. Imagine knowing that even when you’re spending time with family and friends or taking a vacation, or attending client meetings that things aren’t going undone. That’s the peace of mind working with a virtual assistant can give you. A virtual assistant can help you implement those new ideas. And, if you’re still not sure, try keeping a log of what you do for a week and see where you are spending your time (and perhaps where you are losing the opportunity to make money).

 

Baillie Admin Services is available for your outsourcing needs for one off or ongoing projects. Call today to discuss your particular needs.


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