Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Forbes article discusses my personal trifecta

Photo by Renjith Krishnan

I read an article on the Forbes.com blog today that involves three of my passions:  business, writing, and insurance claims.  I'm thinking Apple isn't so happy about my personal windfall, however.

According to the article, Apple was hit by two lawsuits last week alleging that they help advertisers create profiles of their iPhone and iPad users.  The article's author claims that the lawsuits are "essentially copy and paste jobs of a recent Wall Street Journal article" that claimed  approximately one-half of popular smartphone applications transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent."  A number of companies that own the involved applications (including Pandora, The Weather Channel, and Dictionary.com) are said to also be named in the lawsuit against Apple, which claims violations of consumer and computer laws.

What, you're wondering, does all this have to do with insurance and writing?  Although you get the connection to business, you think I'm really pushing it with the other two topics.

Well, don't you think that if a business is sued, it's going to notify its insurance company?  Of course it is! And if it doesn't, it definitely should:  insurance policies usually include the cost of defense and attorney fees in coverage for covered losses and claims.  That's one of the major aspects of wonderfulness contained in insurance policies!

Now, as far as writing goes, can't you just see it?  Single women.  Smart.  Attractive.  Being stalked and killed by a sociopathic serial-killer who knows their whereabouts because he's monitoring them via their iPads, iPhones, Smartphones, or Androids?

Okay.  I'll get serious.  (Although I think my story idea is very fine...)

Federal legislation providing consumer protection abounds.  As a business person, it behooves you to know precisely what types of information you are, and are not, permitted to share.  Off the top of my head, I can think of the following legislation that affects most business people:
If you are aware of other legislation we should be aware of, please feel free to share it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

TIME MANAGEMENT - by guest blogger, Lilliam Brummet

Time Management
Time management is a real biggie for me. There is always so much to do. There is always a new banner ad to design, another radio show needs a promo ad, there’s guests to book on the radio show and outlines for their interviews to create… writing articles for newsletters or blogs… emails popping in every few minutes with a request to provide articles, an interview or networking opportunity. Keeping records of all of this and making sure that everyone has been followed up on, while finding new contacts, new opportunities to reach an audience that has not yet heard of our work – this can eat up a lot of time. I find it can be difficult to let some opportunities pass by, since I would love to do them all but of course, reality sets in and I do realize I cannot do it all.
Part of the struggle with time management is keeping up with the new technologies, each of these takes a little time to become accustomed to. New book releases are the most time constraining tasks that a writer will experience. We need to find patience through this busy time and know that there will be time for writing again soon enough. Besides being patient, keeping good records is essential to ensuring nothing is left behind along the way.
Let me walk you through my day: As soon as my coffee is poured in the morning after breakfast, I am ready for the office. So my day can start at 7 AM and can go to long into the evening. However, I also help my husband run Drum-it’s other endeavors, look after our yard and garden and do most of the household duties. On top of this I have 2 dogs to maintain – so I find myself doing a few hours here, a few hours there … kind of intertwining everything, finding a way to balance it all.

Recordkeeping is the best thing that ever happened to me. Whenever I have queried a media contact, for instance, I'll head over to the Excel file where I'll record brief information on name of the media, the contact, the email/web address and then brief notes to myself in the Notes column - such how we connected and what was said. I use color-coding for easy referral so that I can see at a glance who needs a follow-up, whether a project is completed but not yet published, and so on. Every 3 months or so I go through this file and eliminate all the rows that have no colors (this means that if I have not assigned a color code, there was no response to my query) because I no longer have a need to keep a record of those contacts. At the same time, I'll do any follow-ups that I can. 

Research is key for efficiency in my writing process. I do tons of research, glean the best from it, add my own personal twist and then tweak it to suit the audience the project is intended for. Everything is researched… the content itself, the audience, the publication – their departments – and their staff… then comes the promotion aspects. This way, I have a brief plan of action for each project.

It sounds complicated, but the whole thing takes just a little effort; the outline and record-keeping aspects of a writer's career can make all the difference when it comes to doing things efficiently, effectively, and at a comfortable pace.

~ Written by Lillian Brummet; co-author of Trash Talk, author of Towards Understanding and co-author of Purple Snowflake Marketing (a book promotion guide); host of the Conscious Discussions talk radio show and owner of the Brummet’s Conscious Blog: www.brummet.ca

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Continuing Education for Professionals and Business Owners

  For years, successful businesses have been offering or paying for continuing education as a way to attract and retain employees.  Certain professionals--including those providing health care, real estate brokers, securities brokers, insurance agents, CPAs, and attorneys--are required by law to complete continuing education in order to renew their professional licenses.

Because of the proliferation of senior abuse, most states have enacted legislation that requires professionals who work with seniors to have completed approved programs before claiming to be a senior advisor or professional with expertise in providing advise to seniors.

MBA programs are available online, as are other programs.  If you're thinking about offering or paying for continuing education (CE) for your employees, or if you want to pursue continuing education on your own to advance your career, Business Week posted a good article on September 17th.

One of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition is to outperform them.  There's no better way to do precisely that than to know your business inside and out ... and to keep up with your marketplace, new technology, and the specific details of your industry.  Taking advantage of all the continuing education programs and courses that are offered--in classroom settings, through correspondence courses, and online--is one of the best investments you can make in your career and business.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Taking the Mystery Out of Business is OUT!

Shipping began yesterday for books pre-ordered directly from the publisher.  We expect Taking the Mystery Out of Business to be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders very soon, however, it is available now at my publisher's website:  http://bit.ly/fKumBJ

Check back here to learn when Taking the Mystery Out of Business is available on the Kindle and iPad.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

TMoB is available for pre-order!

Taking the Mystery Out of Business is now available for pre-order and has its own personal page on my publisher's website!

Like a good mystery novel, the world of business involves drama and suspense, not to mention a never-ending supply of red herrings.  Taking the Mystery out of Business simplifies a complex subject, showing readers how to identify the killer aspects of the business world and dodge bullets that could inflict fatal wounds.

Starting with attitude and covering everything from money management to customer attention, Taking the Mystery Out of Business is a resource for entrepreneurs, employees, and anyone who has questions about the often mysterious world of business.

For more information, to read the first chapter, or to pre-order, CLICK HERE!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

3 Online Business Resources

Have you checked out the business resources on the Internet?  They're all over the place.  Here are three examples.
Entrepreneur.com tackles a variety of subjects, including:
  • Business,
  • Small business,
  • Home-based business,
  • Online business,
  • Starting a business,
  • Money,
  • Sales,
  • Sales & Marketing,
  • Management,
  • Human Resources, and
  • Technology.
It offers business opportunities, entrepreneurial assistance, and a blog.  It gives advice about how to grow your business, offers a variety of videos, and answers questions.

For example, on its Tools and Services page, it offers the following:
  • Find vendors,
  • Business and legal forms,
  • Information about incorporating,
  • Colleges and business schools,
  • Franchises and opportunities, and
  • Business plan tools.

Businesweek is an online magazine that talks about Home, Finance, Technology, Innovation, Management, Small Business, and global business issues.

Its Innovation page has links to blogs about several topics, including branding and media.  Its Management page includes links to jobs, a management IQ blog, and includes pages devoted to business schools, career management, and actual case studies.

WomanOwned.com focuses on women-owned businesses.  It offers a newsletter, provides a variety of information on starting and growing businesses, offers advertising and marketing opportunities to members, and offers a variety of tools on subjects such as Business and Health Insurance, Loans and Federal Money, Websites and E-Commerce, Travel Discounts, etc.

There's a lot of advertising on this site, and you have to sign up to receive a membership, but it includes a lot of links to various resources.