Welcome to a new
edition of the Word Constructions newsletter!
Spring may have only
just started on the calendar, but I've been noticing blossoms on
trees and later sunsets for at least a few weeks now. I love
watching things come alive in spring, and find it an inspiring time
to work on new ideas and processes for my business. Do you have any
new projects or a spring clean planned for coming weeks?
Of course, spring is
also when my baby is due so I am planning maternity leave between 12
September and 5 November. Depending on baby's actual arrival and how
we settle in, those dates may be juggled a little, but you will know
why I don't respond promptly during those times anyway!
One thing I have
noticed with client feedback on recent projects, as well as in
reading others' work, is the overuse of the word 'that'. It isn't
needed anywhere near as often as people seem to think it is - try
cutting it out of some sentences and your writing will be more
Use your words wisely!
PS If you have
children and run a business, school holidays may be another reason
for needing time off - or at least some flexible working hours. The
BMN survey on school holidays is currently underway to give me
some information for an article on this topic. If you have a few
minutes, I'd appreciate you answering the survey.
For the results to
their small business surveys, usually presented as an article I
write for them, you can subscribe to their
magazine. And if you subscribe before 30 September, mentioning
my name as you do so, you will get a free back issue thrown in! And
I have it on good authority that the price is going up on 1 October,
03 9018 8182
fax 03 9445
For all your business writing needs
I'm aware of my audience in a way, and I do try to
engage with them while I'm trying to go about my business of
thinking. I believe they help me by providing a focus.
- David Antin
By Tash Hughes of
When you are a small business
owner, especially if you don't have any staff, taking leave can seem
like the impossible dream. Yet, we all need to take breaks for our
happiness and well being, and there are times when a break is not
optional (such as during sickness and major life events.)
Here are some quick tips to help
you maintain a business during such breaks:
believe in your right and need
to have breaks - and the value of time out
prepare procedures of the critical business tasks so someone
else could take over if necessary
establish some relationships
to help you - for example, someone who could finish
projects for you if you suddenly were unable
if preparing in advance,
outsource tasks so they still get done.
A VA can be great for things like answering emails,
processing invoices and updating websites
automate whatever you can -
something as simple as pre-dating blog posts can keep business
ticking over without you
announce a leave date a few
days prior to your real start date. This gives you time to
finish last minute projects and to tidy up any loose ends
keep in touch with your
clients - that includes mentioning your absence on your website
or in an automated email so people understand why you don't
Access cheaper call rates without a long term contract and never pay flagfall on calls again!
By Tash Hughes of
with people for your business, it is important to know who you are
talking to - that is, who is your audience? By understanding your
audience, you can make your communications clear and relevant, which
makes them more effective.
Who does your
business talk to?
that your customers, and potential customers, are the only audience
for your business. Although most of your communications will be
directed at these people, there are others you will communicate with
What are those people
Once you know the group
of people you are talking to, you need to identify common
characteristics of the individuals in that group.
You can gather this
information by observation, direct questions, surveys and using
formal research (either commission your own research or gather data
from the Australian Bureau of statistics, industry bodies, networks,
government departments and market research companies.)
How to use this
Once you have a clear
picture of how you are talking to, you can target your
communications to suit their requirements.
For instance, if you are
preparing an ad to reach a group of elderly men, there is no point
making it small and printing it in Teen Weekly. Nor would you use
language like 'check this out' or 'SMS for more details'.
For extra detail on understanding your audience,
read the full article here - and you may find
my blog post on word choice and
'who reads a media release' useful as well.
Now there's no excuse to not have professionally printed business cards at your next networking event.
Sometimes, the easiest
way to learn the correct way to do something is to see it done
poorly so in this section of my newsletter, I show you some
real-life examples of writing that need a little help.
This particular example doesn't need much of an
introduction other than to say it comes from within an article I
then he up dated all his other acound details when he moved he got a
state ment that old him he had a account that had a couple of
Issues with this
Mostly, this is an example of no proof reading – or very bad
spelling. With a little checking, this sentence would have looked
professional in the blog I found it in. If you doubt your own
spelling and grammar abilities, then it is a good idea to get
someone else to review your writing for you to maintain a good image
for your business.
Again probably a proof reading issue, but it should be ‘an account’
as all words starting with a vowel have ‘an’ instead of ‘a’.
Further, this sentence is too long to have no punctuation, and
covers too many ideas at once.
A better version would
be: (without changing the meaning)
When he moved
house, he updated all his banking details and got a statement
reminding him he had an extra account with a couple of hundred
dollars in it.
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