Small Business Success Q&A #1: Ann Brauer, Quilter Extraordinaire

Today I’m starting a weekly series of Q&As with small business owners. Since most small businesses do not survive five years, I consider anyone who has made it past the five year point to be a success. That’s the only criterion I have set for being profiled. I hope you will find these profiles interesting […]
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Good reads: Issue #1

Here are three articles I came across last week that talk about important topics for small business owners.
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When e-mail has to say it all

While at times it can seem more like a curse than a blessing, e-mail is an essential business communications tool. Lacking the body language, facial expressions, and voice tone that typically help us figure each other out, e-mail, while useful, is not without hazards.
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Good advice from BusinessWire on effective press releases

So get smart with your press releases. Read the BusinessWire post and put its learnings to work for you.
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Care for your customers with good writing

Clear written communication is a must for good customer service. Sending customers murky messages will lead to higher volumes of calls to your busy customer service staff. The final outcome: frustrated customers and overloaded front-line workers.
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Six tips for writing proposals that win business

Increasingly, savvy business owners are requiring proposals to ensure that they get the best possible solution at an attractive price; learning how to write great proposals to increase your win rate is a must. Once you are confident in your ability to compete on paper, proposals will become less of a necessary evil and more of a sure-fire way to gain a competitive edge. Here are tips for making sure your business proposals are winner.s
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Public speaking: A critical success skill that anyone can learn…and I do mean anyone

So if public speaking scares you to death or if your skills need polishing, do something about it! There are plenty of resources available to help you. Besides the Dale Carnegie course, which is now given in a two-day format rather than the 8-week evening course I took years ago, there is Toastmasters International.
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Twitter: 5 things I wish I’d known when I started tweeting

Here are some things I’ve learned in the past year and a half that I wish I’d known when I started. I hope they help other newbies like my friend move up the Twitter learning curve faster than I did.
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How not to talk to customers on Twitter

So here’s the business lesson in this: Please don’t put a neophyte in charge of your Twitter presence. Since only 70 people are following @fchp_tips, I have to guess that Fallon is very new at this game. But they’d better learn quickly. It takes training and a cool head to respond to unhappy campers like me.
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The value of putting your vision in writing

Do you have a vision for your business? Or is that something you associate with big corporations, who talk on and one about their mission and vision in their annual reports and on their Web site? Well, small business owners and self-employed people can also benefit by creating a vision and putting it in writing.
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The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover