Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

Paper or Digital – which is best?

By Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

More than once someone still using a paper system has asked me whether they shouldn’t switch to some gizmo to keep their calendar and address book. Often, they’ve been shamed with labels like “luddite” into feeling that they are somehow missing out. I don’t agree. Whether you use a paper system or an electronic one depends on what works best for you.

Myself, I really like the look, feel and function of paper. However, the urgent need to reliably back up data finally propelled me to move toward a digital system, and I love it.

Over 600 names and phone contacts at my fingertips – fantastic! Recently I was sitting in a client’s office, when they mentioned that they needed an antique table restored. Thanks to my digital gizmo, I was able to give them an immediate referral to someone who does that kind of work with old-world craftsmanship and skill.

And when I want to work with paper, I print out my calendar or task list to carry just one sheet rather than my pda.

Click the “paper-or-digital-table” link below to see some of the needs and wants I hear from my clients who are searching for the best solution to keeping their appointments, contact information, and tasks in one place.

Feel free to add you own by leaving a comment.

paper-or-digital-table

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Products: Office headsets to save your neck

By Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

Accompanying a recent news story about Karen Bass’ historic election as speaker of the California State Assembly was a photo showing Bass, hard at work in her office, reaching for files while cradling a telephone receiver between her ear and shoulder. All I could think was, ouch!

My current office setup requires that my phone be on a table behind my desk, which meant that I held my spine in a 30-degree spiral in order not to pull the phone onto the floor. Until, that is, I acquired my favorite productivity tool of the year, a wireless headset.

With a wireless headset I can easily listen to a client and type notes on the conversation for the duration of an hour call, or get up to close a window without interrupting my caller.

I chose a GN Netcom 9120-flex. It weighs about 2 ounces, so it’s easy to wear. I can walk over 100 feet from the base, three rooms away with walls between the phone and me, and never suffer an interruption in transmission. It took about two minutes to connect the base to the phone, and another 4 minutes to learn how to use the headset.

If you find yourself on lengthy teleconferences or wanting to do two-handed work while you talk, don’t wait to hear it from your chiropractor. Try an office headset instead.

Madam Speaker, I’d like to make this offer: I’m willing to travel to Sacramento to present you with your very own wireless headset. You’ve got enough on your shoulders without adding a telephone receiver!

Planning: quote

A quote for the day:

If you know what to do to reach your goal, it’s not a big enough goal.
Bob Proctor

Planning: Complete the Past

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

Beginning a new plan for a new year? Before you look ahead, take time to look back. Complete the past year by giving it a thorough review. Here’s one process to set you up for success in the future.

Choose five to 10 areas of accomplishment that are meaningful for you and your business. Some to consider include:

  • Sales
  • Product line
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Personnel
  • Accounting
  • Legal

Note two to five accomplishments for the past year in each area of your business.

You may feel at first that you don’t have any accomplishments in some areas. Think again. Did you –

  • Increase sales by 15 percent?
  • Create a new product, or license one?
  • Purchase a new printer that will allow you to produce large-format work?
  • Hire a new accountant?
  • Create a newsletter, blog, or other marketing piece?
  • Meet with 20 prospects face-to-face each week?
  • Take a training class to improve your skills?
  • Present a paper or an address at an industry conference?

Write as much as you can remember, then come back a day or two later and write some more. Scan your calendar from the past year to help recall events and achievements. Your past year review will form the first page of your coming year’s plan, suggesting where your strengths lie and giving the past its due.

Starting a Business: quote

Quote for the day:

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
— Andy Warhol

Essential Guide to Starting a Business – your checklist

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

Often I’m asked by new entrepreneurs for help with setting up their business for maximum success. Though enthusiasm is at peak levels, questions still abound: What steps must I take to get my business off the ground? What’s the best sequence? I think I’ve got the process in hand, but am I overlooking something important?
photo by Patrick H. Corkery

While every business has unique challenges, most small businesses do share common first steps. On my website I make available a four-page guide, complete with many helpful resources for additional information, to help you move from concept to customers.

See the resources page on the New Leaf + Company website to claim your copy of this useful guide. Whether you are going full time with your business, or just looking to supplement your employment, this guide will help you get organized for maximum success.

Do you have plans to launch your own business? What are your entrepreneurial dreams? There is power in declaring them publicly. Declare them by leaving a comment here!

(Photo by Patrick Corkery of an Atlas 5 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, April 14, 2008.)

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