Monday, March 29, 2010

Build Up Your Business By PLANNING In Advance

Am back from Mexico - tanned, rested and looking forward to plunging back into work. For those of you who follow my ezine, Getting It Write!, the last issue contained an article on the importance of a marketing plan, and why every business should have one.

I'll be including the plan that I use to grow my business in my next ezine (due out on the 31st March 2010), so don't forget to subscribe to it. It's fast and free to do so, and I guarantee, it comes with a lot of advice and free goodies.

And speaking of goodies, here are some excellent free resources you can use to build around your own plans:

Create Your Own SWOT Analysis:

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/worksheets/SWOTAnalysisWorksheet.pdf

Build Your Business Plan(You may need to modify them for your own business)

http://www.bplans.com/sample_business_plans.cfm


Craft Your Goal Plans


www.businessballs.com/goal_planning.htm

Enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Why your business needs a social media plan.

If you've been contemplating expanding your business into the social media platform, this article might help you make a decision : http://www.mninteractive.com/business-social-media-plan#more-972

It's great to be on the MN Interactive team and as the blog is new, your comments, thoughts and feedback there surely would be appreciated!

And now, am off to Mexico for week,so keep an eye out for my next post/download on a One-Page Marketing Plan, when I return.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What do you indulge in?

All work and no play does make Jack (and Jill) rather dull. My last ezine, Getting It Write! carried a question in it: What do you indulge in?

Some of my top indulgences include:

• Taking an extra half hour out of my schedule to go for a run.
• Tea with milk and sugar
• Truffles
• Getting my hair washed at the parlour
• Indian curries
• Reading a novel before I nod off to sleep

Glynis from Cyprus has these as hers:

• Dark chocolate
• Manicure and Pedicure
• Agios Onouphrios red wine
• Sitting writing next to my jasmine on a balmy afternoon
• Picnic with DH on the beach

Alison says:
• Olives
• Window shopping
• A glass of red wine

Marta says:

• A walk on the beach
• Dark chocolate
• Coffee with extra sugar
• A babysitter (for my toddler)
• Date night with my husband

Mike says:

• A movie
• Good Italian wine
• Venice
• Sitting down with a good book for an hour of undisturbed reading


• Anything with cream
• A bubble bath
• A stroll in the mall
• A good glass of brandy
• Getting to write without the kids popping in every half hour

Beata says:

• A good book and an hour to read it
• A girls night out
• A trip to the spa
• Shopping for clothes before my cheque’s come in
• An Indian head massage

What's yours??

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pant In America

I got the following email from Margie Wilson from South Africa:

Dear Usha

Having watched some TV programmes on fashion from Canada and America recently, the use of the word 'pant' came up a few times. Now I am not talking about the effect of heavy breathing, but of an item of apparel. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as PANTS taken from the word pantaloons and the word Trousers (also with an s), the reasoning here being that there are two trouser legs making a pair of trousers or two pant legs making a pair of pants - one can't have this in the singular unless you are the proverbial one legged man or woman. My question is therefore, why is 'pant' (singular) used by American and Canadians? The dictionary definition is very precise in this regard. I find it quite fascinating how the language that we speak has so many variations from country to country.

Thank you for your interesting articles which continue to pop up in my mail box. Rest assured that they are enjoyed and have been of great interest.

Kind regards
Margie Wilson
South Africa


It’s true, I did have to relearn the term pants when we moved to North America. But there are so many terms that are interchanged: e.g. I used to use the word pavement for footpath, but here, the pavement is the road, and footpath is sidewalk).

With regards to finding a suitable explanation for the term pants, this is what I got from the BBC website:

In America, a 'pair of pants' refers to an item of clothing used to cover the entire lower torso and pelvic region of the body, but often also includes clothing that covers from the hip right down to the ankle. If the article of clothing doesn't cover the knees and below, it is usually referred to as 'shorts' or something, even though it's really still a pair of pants.

In England, a 'pair of pants' refers to an item of clothing used to cover the main areas of the lower region of the body (from hip down to just below the groin). Pants are usually covered (at least in public) with another article of clothing called 'trousers'. Trousers cover the body from below the torso to above the feet, and Americans call trousers pants.

What Americans refer to as 'shorts' or 'underwear' is actually a pair of pants to the British. Americans are much less specific in the definition than the British. In America, trousers are called pants and pants are called shorts or underpants. In Great Britain, underpants are called pants and pants are called trousers. British speaking people generally find this more amusing than American speaking people, who oftentimes don't understand why the Brits are laughing at them.


Pants is generally used as a plural word. It’s actually only in North American fashion catalogues that you’ll see it being used in a single form: Pant (as does the word, tight). Does that answer you question Margie?

For the insanely curious, the ones who ask how the word pants came about, its origin is rather interesting. It can be traced back to Pantaleon, the 4th Century Roman Catholic patron saint of Venice. He was so revered by the Venetians, that they actually began to be referred to as Pantaloni. Fast forward a couple of centuries and a Venetian character in Italian commedia dell’arte who was the butt of the clown’s jokes and who always appeared wearing pantaloons was called Pantalone. The abbreviation of Pantaloons of course is, Pants.

And why are pants generally used in the plural?

Words for garments below the waist (and with two parts or ‘legs’ all seem to be used in plural throughout history: A pair of breeches, panties, tights, trousers, and of course, pants. By strange contrast, those used items of clothing above the waist are singular: bra, signet, vest etc.

So, thanks for the question Margie. I sure learnt something new today!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Are You Undercharging Your Clients?

Even the most experienced of freelance writers can sometimes get stuck when it comes to setting a rate for a project. Unlike working in a 9-5 office job, where salaries, overhead costs and profits are factored into a project bid, when it comes to freelancing, most writers tend to charge what they think is a fair price. But how do you know what’s a fair price?

If you've ever been in a position where you've found it hard to think up a bid price, you're not alone. Sign up for my free ezine, Getting It Write! to find out what methods writers usually use to set their freelance writing rates.

To sign up for this free thrice monthly ezine, simply fill in your name and email address in the box to the right of this post. And as an additional thank you, I'll send you my free report on 'Becoming A Freelance Writer'.

Ps: I hate spam as much as you do. Your email is kept confidential and if you'd like to unsubscribe, you can do so at anytime.

Hope to see u soon!