A blissful week!

Last week I was quite upset with myself (and frustrated as well) because my ignorance about creating a blog cost me a lot of wasted time and US $20 that I didn’t need to spend. This week I’m happy to report that I had a very productive time on the Internet and I learned a lot of things, so I’ll share a couple with you. Remember what I said about sharing knowledge; it benefits all of us.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I am constantly amazed at all the products and services available online, especially the free stuff. I was preparing some material for a workshop for a group of entrepreneurs and I found some really useful information to share with them and, as I said, with you.

Now in my experience I’ve found that entrepreneurs, craftsmen, small business owners etc are usually very good at what they do but when it comes to keeping financial records they sometimes fall down in that area.

It may be that the business is not making enough for them to afford an accountant or even a bookkeeper or it may be that they can do it themselves but may not be able spare the money to buy an accounting software package.

So I set out to research what is available online for a reasonable price or for free. I didn’t spend hours doing this and I quickly discovered that QuickBooks has online software that you can use for just US $12.95 a month. Then there’s an even cheaper package at Outright.com for US $9.95 a month.

Better yet you can access software on www.waveaccounting.com free! I played around with that one a bit and it’s very user friendly so you don’t really need to know accounts to use it.

Therefore you small business owners have no excuse to be operating your business without knowing if you are making money or not and what your financial position is.

Believe me, if you think it’s a pain to prepare financial statements now, it will be even more painful when you try to get funding to expand your business later and the financial institutions ask you for three years of financial statements.

Another reason I felt very good about my use of the Internet this week was that I created a Facebook page for my novel, The Merger Mogul, all by myself (Okay, I actually had a little help from a tech savvy friend). Experienced Facebook users may laugh at that, but for me it was a major achievement.

If the rest of you Facebook users are like me, you have a page because you know that you should use the social media and you may even have a couple of hundred “friends” but you really don’t use it to its full potential.

Well, let me share this with you, especially if you have a business or you are trying to promote a product or an event. At the bottom of your Facebook page (assuming you already have one) you will see in blue the words “Create a page”. Once you click on that you will be given a number of categories to choose from to describe the type of page you’re setting up. For me it was entertainment.

You will then be led through the setting up process which is very easy and in a few minutes your page will be published and you will be able to upload photos of your product, add descriptions, create and post events etc. Uploading videos is also very easy. I was told about and checked out a site called Stupeflix.com (obviously named for me) which will enable you to create a video using their templates. You can try out one for free or pay as low as $5 per month to make as many videos as you like. I could have used last week’s money to subscribe to this.

My next Internet project is therefore to create a video to post to my new Facebook page to provide an exciting trailer for my novel. I’ll let you know how it comes out, or better yet, you can check it out next week by logging on to my Facebook page by simply searching for The Merger Mogul and I would appreciate if you would “Like” it (only if you do of course).

I understand from Googling: What does a “Like” mean on Facebook (and from a very patient friend) that “Likes” are like (sorry for the repetition) social currency and therefore are very good for marketing your product/service/event.

Every time someone “Likes” your page, it is exposed to all their friends, who have the opportunity to expose it to all their friends and so on. You just need to have something to offer them when they come to the page. What’s not to like about that?

Donna Every is a motivational speaker and trainer. She is the author of four books including her debut novel, The Merger Mogul.

Web sites: www.donnaevery.com and www.themergermogul.com

E-mail: donnaevery@sunbeach.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheMergerMogul

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