Archives for May 2009

Three Tools To Backup Your Email

Why not? After all, modern entrepreneurs like us rely a lot on email. I know I do. Often times, the emails are our only record of a transaction or agreement. So it becomes very important to save them.

For me, I simply include the mailbox folder in Mozy and I also make sure it’s included when I do backups to the network drive. But some of you may want something more direct. These three tools may help.

Mailstore – quite impressive. Backup from any POP or IMAP accounts. Free personal use version available, commercial versions start at $22.90

Windows Mail Backup – they have different versions for Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Incredimail and more.

Outlook Personal Backup Add-in – From Microsoft, available free. Works for Outlook 2007, 2003 and 2002

What Does Your Website Design Say About You?

Thousands of people struggle to publish a website on the web every day.

Some want to make millions overnight while others want to start a legitimate home based business. Still others want to just find a voice by blogging.

The massive size of the web has made it a playground for the newbies and the experienced alike but with millions of people making up your potential audience, how do you differentiate your website from all the others?

No matter what your purpose is for having a website, you want it to look appealing and welcoming. The visitor needs a reason to stay to read what you have to offer otherwise they are just one more hit in your stats, never to be found again.

One way to get your website published quickly is to use a DIY web page builder or templates. Choose a design, add your copy, and hit the publish button.

You’re officially a webmaster!

But if you do not have an eye for design your page layout might confuse your reader about where they should look first. Or the graphics included in the templates might look unprofessional and not really convey your message to your readers very well.

Confusing a reader should not ever be part of your plan and if you are online to make money, customers need to be assured of your professionalism prior to buying from you. Using a below standard web page builder might just turn away people instead of bringing them closer to making a sale.

I always recommend using Xsitepro web design software to all my coaching students and others who are new to the online world. This one program has helped me grow my business immensely and has certainly paid for itself multiple times over during the years.

This is the king of DIY web builders. Every design and copy element on the page is within your control but the developers have already paid professional web designers to create the hundreds of templates available to use.

The actual layouts are very professional and pleasing to the eye, which will help navigate your reader through your site while also establishing you as an expert in your market.

Xsite Pro is a one-time investment but now business owners are not stuck using a sub par program getting sub par results. Xsite Pro gives you the professional website that you want – and need – to be successful online.

Is it time to take a review of your own website? What does it say about you?

Spring Cleaning

Don’t you just love spring? It’s a time for new beginnings just about everywhere. There are new flowers and green grass. Birds are chirping and windows can finally be opened to air out the house. These are times for getting out the cobwebs that have gathered after yet another winter.

It’s also a great time for newness and improvements in other areas as well. I’m going to be taking advantage of spring myself and get started on some interesting business improvements of my own. Have you ever noticed how even business changes happen during specific seasons? That is precisely what is happening with me right now. Spring hit and with it so did the ideas and changes which really needed to happen.

So what this means is things are going to be pretty busy around here for myself as well as my staff. I’m getting really excited about some super changes in the works. Spring has sprung all over the place here and just about everyone is as thrilled as I am!

My staff members are currently in the process of shaping together an entirely new aspect to the business. Those of you who are readers over at Small Business Branding haven’t been forgotten either. I have a little something up my sleeve to help you out with this as well.

It’s going to be a very welcome relief for me indeed, considering I’m drowning in my own email inbox at the
moment. I’ll be quite happy to find my way out of the inbox and into more organized systems. This will definitely permit me to spend more time on the things that matter, and less time digging out from the bottom of a pile of email messages.

Maybe it could be time for you to consider some ‘spring cleaning’ of your own inbox. Who knows what you may find once you dig yourself out.

How Many Assistants Do You Need?

One sure sign that it’s time to seek help in your business is that you are no longer as productive as you once were because you are trying to do too much. Once you’ve come to the point that help is needed the next step is to determine just how much. You can find your answer by evaluating your time, budget and your business as a whole.

How many assistants do you really need? This will vary from business owner to business owner. It is your decision to determine which areas of your business need the most help from another person or professional. Take into consideration not only the amount of money you’ll need, but also how much time you have to devote to certain areas of your business. The more time you have the less likely you are to need multiple assistants.

Most likely you will want to hire assistants in the areas of your business you feel weakest or just don’t have the time to complete. For instance, if you are not good with or don’t like numbers seek the help of a bookkeeper of certified public accountant. Another important area that you may need help in is legal matters. For those who have businesses where it’s essential that you be protected, hiring an attorney is important.

Your needs may not even be as technical as those things. If you find yourself struggling with the amount of time it takes to answer emails, consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle this task. Have a hectic schedule that you don’t have time to plan or can’t seem to keep up with? Hire someone to help out with scheduling appointments and other various clerical tasks.

In some cases you might need assistance in all of these areas and then some. Only you can truly determine your ultimate needs. Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to seek out help. Once you have found others who can efficiently help your business function and grow, you’ll be glad you planned ahead. You’ll soon start to see the results of having a hand in your business and be glad you took the steps necessary to enlist that help.

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