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Thursday, 27 December 2012 18:47

Best toys ever

Written by Deb Neuman

I bought my 10-year-old nephew Twister for Christmas. Remember Twister? A game that includes a mat with circles of bright colors? Your spin determines on which circle you need to put your hands, feet whatever you can. The last person standing wins! Playing this with my niece and nephew has been a blast and a reminder of the best toys of days gone by. Twister was introduced in the late '60s and became a popular party game. It was the first game that made the players the actual game pieces. Sixty-five million of us have bent our bodies in unusual ways on Twister mats!

Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:06

Tips to start the New Year on the right business foot!

Written by Deb Neuman

This is peak time for many small businesses trying to meet the demands of the holiday season. I'm hopeful that this season turns out to be one of your best. I'm also hopeful that you'll get the chance to rest, relax, celebrate and spend time with those dearest to you very soon.

I also hope you get some time to step back from your business to reflect and plan for the coming year. The end of December into the New Year is the very best time to do that. A business owner recently shared with me that you need to be organized form the beginning because once you get busy, there is no time to back track to set things up right!

Thursday, 13 December 2012 12:56

Deb's 12 days of BizMas (sing along)

Written by Deb Neuman

On the first day of Christmas my business gave to me

A season of profitability

On the second day of Christmas my business gave to me

Two new ideas

and a season of profitability

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 15:24

Til death do us part

Written by Deb Neuman

Lately I've heard stories from various people who came close to death. That experience shaped the people they are today.

One person was featured in a TED talk about being on board the plane that Captain Sully safely landed in the Hudson. In those moments before that landing and subsequent rescue, he stared down death. That experience changed his life.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 23:31

How much to tip this season?

Written by Deb Neuman

Tipping is a way we can reward good service, whether it be for one meal at a favorite restaurant or for a year of service from one of your regular service providers. If you're wondering what is the right amount to tip, here are some guidelines.

Experts suggest that 20 percent of the total bill is the going rate for tipping for great service at establishments you frequent often restaurants, bars, salons, etc. However, there is nothing wrong with tipping more for great service or less for not-so great service. I posted this question to Facebook and responses were consistent with the notion that when it comes to rewarding good or great service, 20 percent is the going rate - with a few exceptions. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:53

Tis the season to spend it at home!

Written by Deb Neuman

Here we are again heading into the peak holiday retail season. Many retailers small and large are depending on these next few weeks to end the year on a positive note. For some, these next weeks will mean the difference between staying in business in the new year or hanging out the 'closed for business' sign.

As you make your shopping list, please do your part to support our small businesses and wherever possible keep it local. Small Business Saturday will be celebrated nationwide this weekend. It's essential to the fabric of our communities to support our small businesses any time of year but this time of year especially.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 23:33

What we girls want!

Written by Deb Neuman

'Tis the season for retailers to pay attention to what we girls want and when I speak of 'girls,' I'm talking about women who are just hitting their prime in their 40s and 50s and beyond! These are the women who are going to be out and about shopping for their children, grandchildren, parents, nieces/nephews, siblings, co-workers, friends and neighbors for the holidays. Many of these women are accomplished, successful and confident - with enough life experience to know what they want and what they don't!

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 23:16

Is your business prepared?

Written by Deb Neuman

Friends of mine in New Jersey are recovering from the impacts of hurricane Sandy. Their home and business lost power, and their summer home on the Jersey shore was destroyed by fire. Like the rest of us, they never expected this to happen. This is a sad reminder that we all need to be certain we have a recovery plan in place for our homes and our businesses.

Thursday, 01 November 2012 12:19

It's time to get with the (social media) program!

Written by Deb Neuman

I recently presented a social media workshop to a group of employees representing their organizations who were there to learn new ways to market their respective work places. I was taken aback when I asked the group to raise their hands if their organizations were using social media as a means to communicate their activities and only a few of the 30 or so in attendance raised their hands. What a missed opportunity! Then one of the attendees remarked, 'My employer wants us to start a Facebook page for our organization but we're prohibited from using Facebook at work.' Do you see the contradiction here?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 21:48

It's 11 o'clock have you showered yet?

Written by Deb Neuman

For the last 30 days I've been working from home, launching a new business - Maine Dock Designs (shameless plug) - and tending to my other freelance activities. It's been a huge adjustment going from years of working in an office setting to working from home. I can tell you this it's not for everyone! Sure, we all fantasize about not going to 'work' staying in our PJs all day, not dealing with office politics and having complete control of our lives and schedule. All of that is possible when you work from home. The best part about it is the lack of structure. The worst part about it is the lack of structure.

For most of us, our work lives and personal lives are blended even when we work in an office. You may check emails, make phone calls and work on stuff from home. But you still leave the house and 'go to work.' When your work is in your home, it can be extremely difficult to separate work time from home time. It requires discipline to 'go to work' and discipline to 'not go to work.' It can become very easy to fall into the trap of working too little or working too much.

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