10 Commandments of Business Blogging

I really enjoyed this post from HubSpot about business blogging. Because cultural norms in the blogosphere are so permissive, it’s easy to get drawn into what amounts to “unbusinesslike” behavior and language. This is obviously something you’ll want to guard against. Simple rule: if you wouldn’t say it on a conference call, it’s a good bet you shouldn’t be saying it on your blog.

Update: the Chimps share their thoughts on business blogging here.

Default to yes

New connections mean new opportunities and new business – be open and default to yes.   January’s almost over.  If you’re still looking for a New Year’s Resolution that will help you build your business, this is a good one.  As we get older, there’s a tendency to be dismissive of the new  as being “not how we operate around here.”  Fight this tendency.   Try something new, and make money.

Recession-proof your career

I really enjoyed this article, and in particular, the second point.

Create additional income streams, even if you are an employee.

You might have a non-compete clause in your employment agreement, but it doesn’t cover everything, right? There is certainly something you can do to diversify your income stream in this hairtrigger layoff, outsourcing-crazed world we live in. And not only will doing so bring in more money, it will in all likelihood make you a more valuable employee to your firm.

MMM: Keep on the sunny side

I’m a big fan of Penelope Trunk’s blog, and I particularly enjoyed this article.  She argues that while our internal set-point for happiness may be genetically predispositioned,

… you can make a 40% impact on your optimism level by changing your daily routine in relatively small ways – like doing a bunch of random acts of kindness in one day, on a weekly basis.

I love this idea.  And I have long believed that many actions, which may be peripheral either to your goals or your definition of happiness, could well be critical to attaining either.   For instance,

  1. Taking time to count your blessings
  2. Getting some exercise every day
  3. Spending quiet time in prayer, meditation, contemplation or reflection (according to your bent)
  4. Being careful about the kinds of stimulus you allow into your life
  5. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables
  6. (as Penelope suggested) performing a kindness to someone who is less fortunate than you.  Jewish people call this a mitzvah.

See what you can do today to improve your outlook and maximize your optimism.

Reducing web “purchase anxiety”

Some tips from Entrepreneur Magazine. The usual ideas (use seals, SSL, show testimonials, provide your contact information), plus a new one:

8. Follow up after the purchase. Purchase anxiety doesn’t end with the purchase. There’s another syndrome called “post-purchase anxiety.” You can alleviate it by keeping your customers informed until your product is in their hands.

I’m a huge fan of post-purchase follow up, but I have never thought of doing it during the order-to-delivery interval as a comforter for the customer. Another good reason to do it!

Shreddin’ my life away

Ativa CX10W

I was so pleased when I purchased my beautiful new Ativa CX10W with a large slide-out wastebasket. Surely this will be a huge improvement over my previous clunky shredder, which required me to lift the heavy motor off the shredder basket and balance it precariously on top of the trash can in order to empty the shredder basket.

As it turns out, not so much. The very act of sliding out the wastebasket results in a shower of shredded junk being dumped all over the surrounding area. It’s completely impossible to do it without making a huge mess that requires vacuuming up. 🙁

Ah, the problems of modern life.

Got GL?

TechInsuranceMany moons ago, when That Software Guy was consulting full-time, he was contractually required to carry a large general liability policy (in case someone tripped over his briefcase or whatever). I got the policy from a fellow named Steve Arnold from TechInsurance. When I went back to W-2 status, I let the policy lapse because I started doing all my That Software Guy work on the Internet. Still, I had a nagging feeling that I wasn’t doing the right thing – and Steve confirmed this in a catch up phone call last week:

“Even though you’re Internet-based, you still have a liability exposure! You have rocks in your head not to have coverage!”

Well, he didn’t actually say that (although I’m sure he thought it) – Steve was extremely polite and helpful in explaining that there are still a number of edge cases – a UPS guy delivering a package, meeting a client for lunch – where liability still exists for Internet based operations like mine. So I wound up getting coverage again through them, and I must say it was a smooth and pleasant experience. If you’re a small IT or engineering business looking for a policy, give the TechInsurance folks a try.