Category Archives: simplicity

What’s your five word summary?

Sometimes, it takes me 5 pages of documentation and a lengthy chat to decipher what it is a particular business actually does. I figure if I don’t get it, then chances are the viewers of the website I build for them wont get it either. Sometimes I feel thick because I have to ask a […]

How much money do you want out of your business?

I went to a course last night at the Business Center in Wellington (if you live in Wellington and have a small business, join their email newsletter, they have tonnes of free courses for all areas of running and growing a business, by people who have done it). One question we were asked is ‘how […]

How to create a successful website

I went to Victoria university. Their website was a well known example among students of a black hole of information – you knew it was all in there somewhere, it was just virtually impossible to get to it. It was begging for an update, so I was happy to discover that very recently it had […]

A slug in your dinner

I recently went out to dinner with my parents to a restaurant that we quite like. Unfortunately, just as we polished off the last bit, I found a slug in my dinner. Luckily it was a whole slug. In fact it was a happy slug. Quite cute too, had it not been in my dinner. […]

Is your business sustainable?

I’m not sure if ours is, but I’d like it to be. Small business should be the home of sustainability. We know how to live off a shoestring, to use our resources until they are well and truly done for. We like to save money, we like to achieve things, our livelihood depends on us […]

Check out Moo for FREE Business Cards

A week or so ago, I wrote about the effectiveness of your business cards, and Matt from Polon was nice enough to inform me about Moo.

Flickr Moo CardsMoo is awesome. Moo makes business cards exciting and different. Moo is also mastering the art of word of mouth marketing by offering various promotions in conjunction with various very cool and talk-friendly companies (ie. 10,000 FREE sets of 10 Flickr mini cards, or 10,000 FREE sets of 10 Skype mini cards)

Redefining Business Cards 

Skype Moo CardsThe concept of the mini card is interesting for business owners, gone are the days where a business card was really kept. These days, they are simply the way of transporting your contact information from you to someones elses phone/contact database or other contact storage device, and once this task is complete, they are trashed.

Moo makes this process more fun – each card is different and very nice to look at, they are more convenient and earth friendly (being smaller) and they have managed to single handedly refresh the way I look at business cards. Excellent work :)

Keep and Eye Out 

Not entirely convinced by my gushy blog post? Keep an eye on their blog for the next freebie and send away to see for yourself (I seem to be a bit slow off the mark these days and am yet to be one of the top 10,000) 

Be a Daffodil and Stand Out From the Crowd

Virtually every day since we've been back in Wellington, there has been a different charity having their annual fundraising day. On my walk to work, I invariably scramble round my bag for coins, grab my sticker and be done with it. Generally, on the streets those with the stickers are the minority.

It all changed this morning.

Daffodil DayToday is Daffodil Day, and I must say that the Cancer Society has fully grasped that they are part of this marketing game as much as any company is. These day's the charity market is chocka-block, charities face many of the same problems as small businesses do, which boils down to the challenge of how to stand out in the crowd. But they face a much harder problem: consumer fatigue – Basically, as the number of charities grows, so, it appears does the number of problems this planet faces. We still haven't cured world poverty or cancer, although we've been giving for years, we're kind of swamped with the enormity of it all, and we're starting to wonder if our money just falls down a dark hole.

So how did the Cancer Society manage to get almost every person walking down the street this morning to donate, when most charities seem to struggle with a 50% success rate?

Five Steps to Fundraising Success

  1. Give the fundraising day a name.

    No more 'The SPCA's Official fundraising drive', it's Daffodal Day

  2. Own the town.

    Because it's all about atmosphere. We love streets lined with yellow balloons, the feeling of spring being on the way, the thought of being part of something cool.

  3. Get a cooler giveaway than stickers

    I'm not a huge fan of plastic, one use flowers, and wish we could get a real Daffodil, but in the meantime, it's generally accepted that a sticker is not worth donating for, but a lovely yellow flower is.

  4. Choose your collectors carefully

    Yes that's right. Those tired and disillusioned collecters do nothing for 'team morale'. If you're going to do it, get the type of people who call out a cheerful 'thanks' when you pass them, or a 'good morning'. Also get school kids involved, especially polite ones who make us workers feel like there's hope for the future ;)

  5. Make people feel good

    It is a well known fact that encouragement is better than punishment. Most charities seem to try to entice donations by showing us just how bad things are (starving children, dead whales etc etc), whereas Daffodil Day makes us feel positive and happy. Yes, there is a serious message behind it, and yes, we have a lot to feel guilty about in this world. But psychology is a funny thing and guilt is not inspiring!

The Cancer Society is a fairly substantial organisation, however, none of the above list requires a lot of money, just a bit of smarts and creativity – Simple and Loveable. Happy Daffodil Day!

 

Win FREE TV Advertising with Spotrunner

Sport Runner Competition

If you're a small business and want to advertise on TV and live in the USA (the criteria sound quite stringent but really aren't), head straight over to Spotrunner to enter this very cool competition.

Grand Prize:

  • $5,000 worth of tv airtime
  • a $499 ad from our library, personalised to your business
  • $99 Express Launch consultation service to help you get started
  • a portable DVD player

Spot RunnerIt's not often small businesses get anything for free so grab this chance while you can. If you are like me and excluded from the competition due to geographical reasons, don't be sad! You automatically get the spot prize of seeing a successful buzz marketing campaign in action (I got the news from Becky at Small Biz Survival, who got it from The Small Business CEO, who got it from…)

Entries close on September 5thGood Luck!

Get Forced into a Fitter Lifestyle with Traineo

When you are a computer geek it is difficult to find the time to leave your computer and get active. Web 2.0 has responded to this dilemma in true web 2.0 style, combining the real world, communities, goal tracking and feedback, all mixed together in simple, fun looking applications that give you that same 'I will really stick with it this time' feel as you get from infomercials.

TraineoWhen Tim from Silverstripe put us onto Traineo, I instantly fell in love. Aside from their magnificent website, what is suprememly cool is the fact that you nominate 4 friends to act as your excercise interrogators – if you fail, they will know and they will taunt you and make you feel like the loser that you are. Excellent. I guarantee you that if you pick the right friends, you are well on your way to the fit, happy lifestyle you've always wanted.

 

Logos Web 2.0 With LogoPond

It's been a while since we profiled a web 2.0 tool. There are a few reasons for this, one of which is the 'stagnation' of the space – Although there are about 5 Basecamp clones launching weekly, the stream of tools that attack different problems is fast turning into a trickle. However, this is not a gripe, because I found one such tool, and I think it's great.

 

LogoPond Helps you Test Your New Logo

LogoPond
I love how simple it is. You're a small business, your developing a new logo, you can't afford mass market research or hoardes of expert opinions. So you chuck it up on LogoPond and let the community rate your effort (or efforts if you've got a few potential options). This place is full of logo designers, which means expert advice for free – not something you get offered every day. In return, you can't help but rate other logos, or browsing through the site for inspiration.

I f you're feeling particularly brave, push your current logo into the viper nest to see if it's time for an upgrade – or try your competitor's logo for a bit of Monday Morning Sport.