Monthly Archives: March 2012

How to Become Famous in Your Field

Famous

Famous

In my years as an employee I never needed to use PR to secure job opportunities. Now that I’m a business owner gaining visibility and publicity through PR is just one of the ways I gain more traction in my business to build my brand and create buzz so that my business can grow.

The typical employee uses their resume and contacts to secure their jobs but business owners secure clients and customers by networking, marketing and gaining visibility through PR. What makes them stand out is their brand and it’s also what differentiates them from everyone else. It’s why I can’t emphasize enough that working on your niche will strengthen your brand and help you create longevity. Why is it really necessary to become an expert these days? Because when you do you will likely be paid more and it will make it easier for you to grow your business faster.

Now many people make the assumption that they need to spend big money to hire someone to handle their PR but that’s not necessarily the case. There are a variety of online and offline tricks to get PR to grow your business. With more people flocking to the internet many of the large publications and news channels are there and they’re looking for fresh newsworthy content for their readers. When you position yourself and your expertise just right you can easily open up the flood gates to create greater awareness of your business.

Most business owners don’t know how to publicize themselves and I have to admit that up until recently I didn’t know many of the tips and techniques either but I recently interviewed an expert to learn exactly what to do.

Meet Lori Nash Byron, Marketing and Branding Expert of Famous In Your Field. After over 20 years in corporate marketing positions Lori started her own successful business working with solo business owners to help them create buzz and become famous in their fields too.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori about her 5 Ways to Become Famous in Your Field. She explained how she was working the corporate grind and that with just several simple PR strategies she was able to catapult herself right out of her job and into her own successful solo business. Now she works with others to create the same type of success.

She shared with me:

• Her top advice tips to business owners trying to grow their business while still on the job

• The 5 specific areas you must work on to create the fastest growth and increase your profitability for your business

• Easy strategies to get publicity for your business

• How to leverage your articles, posts, speeches, interviews to create a name for yourself and grow your business quickly

I’d love to hear about your experiences. In the comments below, fill me in by answering any of the following questions, or all if you’d like.

1. Have you gotten some PR for your business? Been on interviewed or quoted on t.v., radio, newspaper, online article?

2. How did you go about getting it and did it help your business?

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Benefits Of Work Experience

Work Experience

Work Experience

Work experience has been in the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons! Used correctly work experience can be an invaluable learning experience for young people looking to get on the employment ladder or for the older generation wishing to change careers.

Are they exploitative? I think that depends on how they are used. Asking them to come and sweep up the shop floor when they are supposed to be gaining experience in web design would be clear exploitation; asking them to watch an expert at work and give input is surely worth its weight in gold in this competitive employment market.

Our economy is in a mess and our unemployment figures just keep increasing. Young people are told that without experience they can’t get a job and they can’t get experience because they can’t get a job. I think employers should be doing more to encourage young people not deter them from working.

As an employer I want to see people who have shown initiative in gaining experience in their field whether this was paid or not.

Work experience can provide them with an insight into their chosen career, this can also help them realise whether it is the right choice for them. The governments work experience scheme has taken several hits lately and I do appreciate there are definitely some flaws.

There obviously needs to be clear guidelines, companies advertising 12 week unpaid work placements suggests that they just don’t want to pay a temporary work during a particularly busy period.

There are various companies that run a year round “intern” policy, I don’t agree with this, it sounds like companies taking advantage of employees who are desperate to get some work experience but when does it stop becoming work experience and start becoming slave labour?

For me, work placement is a proven way of giving young people their first step on the employment ladder. This should be a couple of weeks learning the ropes and working out whether this is the career for them.

From a recruitment viewpoint a youngster who has applied to different companies requesting some experience shows they are keen and creative with a willingness to learn.

What more do you want from a young recruit? The public are reacting to a scandal that as far as I can see does not exist. The Get Britain Working work experience programme is targeted specifically to unemployed 16 to 24 year olds and offers them unpaid placements ranging to two to eight weeks. This could be a real chance for young people to boost their confidence and skills and get them back on the employment ladder.

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All About ISO 9001

ISO 9001

ISO 9001

As money become tighter in today’s economy, we look for quality products and services. People are getting pickier about what suppliers and supplies they use and often let credentials and connections decide what rout to take. To meet the expectations a client has to your product it is a good idea to implement systems for quality management.

ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised certification for quality management. The streamline quality control system is implemented into your company ensuring you are providing the best possible products for your clients. The certification has become increasingly popular and been presented to around 1 million companies worldwide. The recent increase only solidifies the importance of obtaining it for other businesses. Appealing to the manufacturing industry, the certification aims to increase customer satisfaction, as well as product quality guarantee.

The implementation of the certification is a very straight forward process and not as time and resource consuming as many assume. The certification ensures that no stone is left unturned and provides a system for rectifying any problem. The systematic nature of ISO 9001 ensures that the process is continuously performed to ensure that any arising issues are dealt with swiftly.

The system will need the appropriate number of staff and time allocated in the implementation process. If this is taken into consideration from the beginning, the business can save substantial amounts of time. The average time for implementation and assessment is four days, but this varies with the size of the business. The certifying company should be instructing you on this before the process begins allowing you to make the necessary adjustments.

ISO 9001 implementation includes ‘gap analysis’. This means that existing procedures are identified and assessed in order to adapt them to conform to international standards. For any business this would result in a reduction in time allocated for training once the system is implemented. The changes are made as small as possible for companies to be able to go about their business as quickly as possible after implementation.

Once the assessment has taken place, the business will be given the appropriate amount of time to adjust procedures after the assessment is carried out. If all changes are made then the company is presented with the certificate. The certificate will be able to open doors to new clients and customers. The business will be able to use the ISO 9001 certification as a badge of honour, promoting their credentials and ensuring that they have good procedures for quality management.

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The Different of Life Insurance Plans

Life Insurance

Life Insurance

Today, almost everybody owns a life insurance policy. It could be for various reasons like investment purposes or for tax benefits, but the key point is that it provides complete peace of mind. With insurance plans, one does not have to worry about their family’s future security in their absence. These plans provide financial security to the surviving family members after the death of the insured.

Insurance is a must for anybody who has financial dependents. The age bracket to buy a insurance plan is approximately from 18 – 75 years of age. Most of the banks have a minimum and a maximum amount of money to be assured.

Types of Life Insurance Plans

Broadly, the two main types of insurance policies are term insurance and whole life insurance. Term Insurance Plans are the most basic and simplest plans. These plans provide a cover for risks only for a short period of time. After the term comes to an end, you can renew the plan but chances are that the premiums will rise. These plans are economical.

On the other hand, whole life insurance plans are expensive but these policies continue for as long as the insured lives. These plans are sometimes treated as investment options because one does not receive any money till the death of the insured.

Other plans include unit link life insurance plans that offer great investment options along with financial security. Usually, one has to pay two separate premiums – one for the life insurance and one for investment. These plans are beneficial as they provide financial solutions during your lifetime as well as after your lifetime to your family members.

There are retirement insurance plans available for senior citizens too. Insurance policies are extremely important for such people as these plans offer security and freedom to the surviving spouse. Child plans are another choice in insurance plans. These policies provide financial aid for your child’s education, marriage, etc. Another option are the health insurance policies. Health insurance policies provide a cover for medical expenses. These plans are suitable for people who suffer from health problems like diabetes, cancer, etc.

Riders in Life Insurance

Riders are the additional benefits that one can add to their life insurance policies. However, the premium amount increases with the inclusion of these riders. There are several types of riders in insurance plans offered by banks. The most popular of all are:

Critical Illness Benefit Rider: It offers financial aid in case the insured gets diagnosed with critical diseases like cancer, heart attacks, kidney failure, etc. Accidental Death and Disability Benefit Rider: In case the insured becomes disabled following an accident, this rider covers this risk.

Tax Benefits

Tax benefits as per the Income Tax Act, 1961 offer a deduction in the premium amounts, investments, dividends, etc. However, these benefits are subject to amendment regularly.

These Plans protect the needs and requirements of your loved ones in case of unfortunate events. It helps keep your family safe and secure even when you are not around.

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Turning Your Passion Into A Perfect Career

Have you ever met someone who has the “perfect job” – like the animal lover who’s a great veterinarian or the science whiz who’s a lab technician? What about the people who are good at what they do – but hate getting up every morning to go do it?

Which one are you?

Unfortunately, most people get so wrapped up in making a good salary they head for whatever job will pay them the most. Sure, they get to provide a comfortable lifestyle for their family, but at what price? Is hating what you do worth making some extra money?

What if you could find the best of both worlds?

Some people fall into the perfect job without any effort – like the guy who takes over the family business. The family business is all he’s ever known. He grew up loving it and he’s happy being able to carry on the family tradition and stay close to home.

Unfortunately, a situation like that is pretty rare. That’s because most people decide to leave the nest and head out to see if the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. If they find out it isn’t, they feel “stuck” in a job they hate.

Career Opportunity

Career Opportunity

Luckily, though, these decisions aren’t permanent. No matter how old you are – or no matter how long you’ve been working in your current profession – it’s never too late to create a new career path based on your passions. If you think there’s no money in that, think again. As soon as you understand your passions, you’ll discover there’s a big world out there!

Here’s what you need to do:

– Take a step back and examine where you are and how you got there. Figure out exactly what makes you unhappy about your current situation. Even though it’s your life and decisions you’ve made, you’ll probably be amazed when you sit down and carefully think about it all! The blur of the past 5 or 10 years will come into focus and you’ll start to really learn about yourself.

– Think about what you’re passionate about. How can you incorporate them into a career? To do this, you’ll have to be creative and look at your passions from a variety of angles. For example, if you love to travel, why? Does your passion stem from seeing new places? Meeting new people? If you simply enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, look for a job that allows you to do just that.

– Learn everything you can about your passion. Even if you love it, you may not know all there is to know about it. Maybe there’s an angle you haven’t thought of yet you can turn into a business opportunity.

– Don’t confuse your passion for admiration. Just because you admire the great book you just read doesn’t mean you have a passion for sitting down at your computer and working as a writer.

– Remember that everything takes time. The people who are making a good living off of their passions didn’t get there overnight. You generally don’t get to start out doing something you love and making a ton of money. However, if you’re really passionate about it, you’ll enjoy climbing the ladder and gradually seeing more success!

No matter where your passions take you – or what your bank account looks like at the end of the day – you owe it to yourself to get out of your current rut and try something new. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you originally planned, you’ll have fun on the ride!

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What Are Your Actions Demonstrating to Your Followers?

Followers

Followers

If you want to become a really great leader then it is important that you invest time and effort into developing your skill as a leader. Although there is far more to leading others than possessing the proper technical skills needed to effectively lead others. Understanding and practicing these skills will certainly equip you to be a better leader. There is however one requirement for leadership, which is difficult to learn, but is crucial to becoming a great leader. This quality is character.

Your character or the example you set for those who follow you, is communicated to them through your actions. The primary example you set for others or the level of good character you project to everyone around you, is the most important area you need to address or improve, if you want to be authentic and believable as a leader.

Action Idea: Examine your actions or the example you have set over the past month. Have the actions you have taken and the example you have set been aligned with the type of character you want your team to project to you?

  • Are you acting in alignment with the values of your teams?
  • Have you exhibited the level of integrity expected from your team?
  • Are you working as hard as or harder than you expect your team to work?
  • Are you displaying the honesty, you expect from your team?
  • Are you living up to your team’s expectations?
  • Is there anything you need to change to ensure that you are more authentic?

Once you are certain that your actions and the example you are setting for your team as their leader, are aligned with the needs and expectations of your team. It is time to ensure that you have a clearly defined mission, vision and strategy, which is clearly communicated to every team member.

  • Your mission or purpose must clearly define why you and your team do what you do every day. When your team understands the overall purpose and their role in delivering on the mission, they will be inspired and driven to make the team succeed.
  • The team vision must also be clear and understood by all stakeholders, as this defines exactly what the team is trying to achieve with the actions they take each day. The more clear the vision and the better it is understood by all team members the better the final result the team will realise in the end.
  • All great leaders have a strategic plan, which they clearly and consistently communicate to their followers. This allows everyone to get a crystal clear picture of their individual roles necessary to delivery on the overall vision. This strategic plan is effectively the how, which when the team aligns this with their mission, will deliver on their vision.

As you climb higher in any organisation, your role as a leader is to be more of a dreamer or visionary and less of a practical hands-on person. The higher you climb as a leader the more your work is about charting a course for your followers to follow into the future. The reality that every leader faces though is that no matter how great their vision may be, they always remain responsible for influencing their followers to take action. No vision is of any value, unless acted upon strategically by all team members.

The measure of any great leader is found in how well they are able to clarify their vision and then to communicate their passion and the essence of their vision to their teams. This can be a challenging task as the people you lead, may not be privy to all the information you as the leader have access to and they may not be able to envision the future like you can. You as the leader of any team are the steward of the vision and as such you must work to bridge the vision gap, between what you envision as the leader and what your team sees.

Great leaders must communicate their mission, vision and strategy to their teams consistently, in a creative and clear fashion. This will ensure that every team member understands their role in delivering on the mission and vision. Although communication is important and must be done daily, it alone will not get your team completely aligned behind your mission and vision. The only way to get this to happen is for you as the leader to live your mission and vision. As you model your vision, every day, your team gets to see your drive and passion and they can see how the picture of what you envision actually comes alive.

Great leaders must always set the example with the right behaviour and daily activity. People may doubt what you say, but they seldom doubt what you do. As you consistently set a good example for your teams and you keep modelling the right behaviour every day, which is aligned with achieving your vision. So too will your followers do the same. People do what you do and are guided by what you say. It is for this reason that you must always strive to be the example of what you want from your team.

The example or living picture, any great leader displays to his or her team, is what produces the energy, passion and inspiration, which their teams feed off. The people, who follow you, are always watching what you do. If you set a bad example with your daily actions, your teams will soon exhibit the same bad behaviour. If you as a leader strive to be the example you want and expect from your followers, they will eventually emulate you and reflect just that back to you, in the actions they take daily.

Remember that if you want to change any behaviour in your teams, it is impossible to achieve any change, unless the change starts with you the leader first. Your role as a leader is to act as a change agent. To be effective in this endeavour, you must ensure that you model any change in yourself, before you expect to see any change in your followers. The standards of excellence you set for yourself must be far higher than any standard you set for any members of your team. To retain your credibility as a leader, you must always strive to work first, hardest and longest on changing yourself, before you attempt to change anything in your team.

The most valuable gift any great leader can give to themselves and to their teams is to always strive to be a good example. When you as a leader are able to align your beliefs, vision and values with your daily actions, you become a perfect model for your team, someone who leads from the front. As you consistently strive to set a perfect example as a leader, you create the perfect foundation for the same behaviour to be practiced by everyone in your teams.

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How Do You Create a Range of Luxury Carrier Bags?

Luxury Carrier Bags

Luxury Carrier Bags

How do you create a luxurious carrier bag?

Many of our clients think that creating a luxury carrier bag is simply a case of spending lots of money.

This is completely wrong.

I have seen carrier bags that cost £4 per bag and look awful. I have also seen bags that costed £0.40 and they look amazing.

The key to creating a luxury carrier bag is about getting the right balance of elements. Of course, the more you spend the more likely the bag is to look luxurious but it is not guaranteed.

The most important part of creating a luxurious bag is the paper that is used. It should be a long fibre paper which means that it feels crisp and tight. This paper is hard to tear and has the feel of a really good quality material.

Leaving the paper un-laminated gives the bag a natural feel and it’s what most luxurious brands are doing with their carrier bags. They are also adding a texture to the paper but this does add quite a bit to the cost.

If you do decide to laminate the bag, generally a matte lamination looks more sophisticated than a gloss lamination. A lamination also protects the bags from dirty fingers, grease marks and the rain. However, it does mean the bag is less environmentally friendly.

The next stage to creating a luxury bag is as important as the paper; The design or graphics. Most brands choose to have something simple on the front and the reverse of the bag. This can look really nice but only if the print technique is a bit special. Simply printing a logo onto the front and the bag will probably look quite cheap.

I always recommend a foil embossed logo which gives a nice contrast against the paper of the bag. Be careful about the foil colour that you choose as some foils can look really shiny and cheap. Satin or matte foils are the best.

So now you have a nice carrier bag, made from beautiful paper and an embossed logo on the front. The carrier bag is starting to look quite luxurious and hasn’t cost much. But this is where lots of brands and their appointed factories or designers fail; the handles.

Carrier bag handles need to reflect the quality of the paper. Too often, we see a nice bag but with some really cheap plastic handles. Don’t do this! Instead go for a nice cotton handle with PP inside. This means the handles feel strong and the ends can be heat sealed. Make sure the handle length is tested before placing the final order.

Finally, think about how the handles are attached to the bag. If the bag is designed to carry quite light items, choose to have the handles threaded into the top turnover. This is a bit more expensive but it does gives the carrier bag a really minimal, sophisticated look.

Finally, make sure the base board and especially the top turnover of the bag uses string reinforced card. The thicker the better. This will make the bag feel nice and sturdy.

For that X factor – think about a little detail that makes your bag unique. Consider having metal eyelets where the handles go, perhaps a little swing tag off the handles, a message on the base board, a printed ribbon to tie the bag….there are so many options to choose from and it doesn’t add much to the cost.

And that’s it. This will guarantee you a really nice carrier bag. However, once you have done all this, don’t go onto Alibaba.com and find the cheapest factory to make it for you then complain that China or wherever is rubbish at Quality Control..yawn…yawn…yawn.

You need to find a manufacturer that understands how to make luxury carrier bags and has a good portfolio of clients they have made bags for. Most factories THINK they can make luxury carrier bags but in reality they can’t because the devil is always in the detail!

So to summarise:
1) Choose a really nice paper that doesn’t need laminating
2) Make sure the design looks sophisticated
3) Foil print and emboss the logo on the front and back of the bag
4) Choose your handles carefully
5) Add a detail or something unique to make the carrier bags different

Good luck!

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