Don’t miss repeat business

A simple step to keep customers coming back

I found out in the weekend that my car’s warrant of fitness (WOF) had expired. I never remember to check, and it was my husband who pointed it out.

The amusing thing is, is that he works for the company that does my WOF checks. While he remembered my car needed to be brought in again, the company had failed to remind me. Bad move. Read the rest of this entry »

The demise of kindness

Is doing good bad?

Couple Working in Homeless ShelterTwo young Canadian men recently started a social media challenge, daring their friends to acts of kindness. All well and good. But the comment of one of them brought me up short.

Russell Citron, who has a non-profit organisation called Kindness Counts is reported as saying this:

“I think that society views kindness as a very passive concept. There’s some attitude toward being kind now that it’s not the cool thing to do. It’s not fun. But in order to really make an impact and get people talking at their dinner tables, you have to be creative and unconventional in the way you address kindness.”

Well, I don’t disagree with the concept of the second part of his statement – creativity certainly helps when promoting discussion and action around social issues. However, when did kindness become uncool? And if it is off-trend, then why?

What do you think?

Quilts for Kids

 When she couldn’t bear the thought of a pile of fabric scraps going to the tip, Linda Arye wondered “What if…”

What if she could find some willing volunteers to turn the piles of material into quilts for children who needed some comfort? Her nearest and dearest thought she was dreaming. Who would spend hours creating a work of art just to give it away to someone they didn’t even know?

Linda’s detractors didn’t realise who they were dealing with. Quilters seem to have a reputation for being serial gifters. One person has called them the ‘best slices of society’ for precisely that reason – typically they will give away three out of every four quilting projects on which they work.

It was just that generous-hearted attitude that has transformed Linda’s brilliant idea for recycling into an international charity called Quilts for Kids. About 13 years old now, it has 96 chapters in the USA, Canada and the Bahamas. Volunteers sew the quilts, which are given away to sick and abused children in those countries and also further afield.

It just goes to show what can happen when you ask “What if…” rather than “So what…?”

It’s not easy being blue…

…but I like it!

blueWell done to Marilyn Paston, a boss who is prepared to give people a go. When looking for someone to work alongside people with disabilities, Paston was impressed with a young woman candidate. The 19-year-old job-seeker exuded self-confidence and cheerfulness, qualities you’d think would be useful in any work environment. But Paston seems to have been the only one in a long line of prospective employers who saw the young woman’s potential. Read the rest of this entry »

Angela’s Aprons

Not all women go into business out of choice. For some it is a matter of survival.

Angela Archer

Angela Archer

When her husband’s new consultancy business took a dive during the 2008 economic downturn, Angela Archer looked for a way to supplement family finances. As a full-time homemaker since leaving school, she had no formal qualifications. A back problem ruled out standing for hours in a retail situation. That’s when her idea of a home-based business sewing and selling aprons was born. Read the rest of this entry »

5 steps to conquering ‘reading overload’

Fighting technology with technology

ReadingIf you are like me you keep a ‘reading’ folder in your email inbox (in my case I use MS Outlook email software application). It’s in that folder I store all those wonderful e-newsletters I subscribe to, each with tantalising teasers and hyperlinks to various blogs and websites with full details on the topic(s) in question. Using a reading folder means the emails are safely stored away till I get time to read them all.

Great, but it can quickly become overwhelming. The reading time never eventuates and thus the number of unread emails grows alarmingly. It’s all very well scheduling reading time once a week (which I recommend incidentally), but what happens when you only manage to read part of an email? By the next week you forget where you were up to and waste time picking up the threads again. Take these simple steps, and you will be sorted: Read the rest of this entry »

Switching off

TV, or not TV – that is the question!

Sunday 1 December will be a watershed moment in NZ’s entertainment history. It will be the day by which the free-to-air TV service for the whole country will have changed from analogue signal to digital transmission. A full-page advertisement in the NZ Herald of 5 September reminds upper North Islanders to make the switch before it is too late. “Planning to watch TV? Then plan to go digital,” it implores.

A lot have already made the transition. I’m one who hasn’t, partly for financial reasons and partly because I’m wondering if now would be a good time to give up – or at least, wean myself off – something that probably does more to hinder me than help me. Read the rest of this entry »