Welcome to Britain’s Holiday money-go-round

Welcome to Britain's Holiday money-go-round

Much of British business shuts down for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. How does this money-go-round affect Britain’s economy?

It’s four days after Christmas and for the next week, many offices and other business premises here in Britain will continue to be about as buzzy and populated as the Marie Celeste, with tumbleweed rolling through their corridors and no more action than the occasional security guard making himself a cup of tea. [Read more…]

Why you should never bet with a little old lady

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Nice little old lady?
Don’t bet on it…

A little old lady went into the Bank of Canada one day, carrying a bag of money. She insisted that she must speak with the president of the bank to open a savings account because, it’s a lot of money.

After much hemming and hawing, the bank staff finally ushered her into the president’s office (the customer is always right…) The president then asked her how much she would like to deposit.

She replied,”$165,000!” and dumped the cash out of her bag onto his desk. [Read more…]

The Holidays buying frenzy – a culture of vultures?

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The Holiday Season: feeding our greed?

Given that most of us in western industrialized countries have just experienced two weeks (or so) of ongoing festivities, you can’t help but wonder how the beliefs of this time of the year have been interpreted among faiths that don’t celebrate them.

Why should they? Because, if nothing else – and here I am talking at my most commercial and cynical – the whole gift-giving period represents an extraordinarily good opportunity to sell, sell, sell. [Read more…]

8 ways you lose – if you don’t write well for business

Someone asked me the other day, “what does it matter if my business writing isn’t very good?” Here I am writing thousands of words per year to help people write better, but bearing that question in mind I think it’s time I outlined the harsh facts of how much poor business writing can cost you … in several ways.

1.You lose – credibility

No matter how much of an expert you may be at IT or accountancy or orchid-rearing, if your website, printed material and other content is badly written customers may well assume you can’t be that good if you can’t even write about it correctly.

 2.You lose – professionalism

This is the next stage after loss of credibility; customers will question whether you are as professional as you say you are, if the way you write contains spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and other mistakes. Big danger zone.

 3.You lose – business to your competitors

Be honest. If you’re checking out websites or brochures for – say – your next vacation, which travel company will strike you as more reliable: one whose content is spelled and phrased correctly, or one whose text contains typos all over the place?

4.You lose – even if your prices are lower

You might get away with advertising firewood or dishwasher salt with spelling mistakes in the copy if your prices are lower than your competitors’ but with any product or service that customers need to trust, spelling and other writing mistakes can signify overall carelessness and inefficiency. They will probably want to pay a little more to ensure they get the service they want.

5.You lose – the reputation and image you’ve built up face-to-face

There’s nothing that kills a business’s image faster than a stupid mistake in words used, let’s say, for in-store displays or signs … how can customers take seriously a display of gorgeous fruit and vegetables when there’s a sign up there saying “superb organic apple’s” … or a café that offers “large latte’s only $X / £Y” …?

6.You lose – by giving competitors and detractors the chance to sneer at you

OK, pulling up a business because of spelling, grammar or similar mistakes might be a cheap trick, but the business world is full of cheap tricks because everyone is scrabbling for an increased market share. If your content is not well written it can give competitors and nay-sayers just the opportunity they need to run you down.

7.You lose – by giving the media the chance to belittle you

This may only apply to larger enterprises, but on a local level it can apply too. Particularly if you put out press releases that contain mistakes and other bad writing, journalists can – if they feel inclined – get hold of your content and shake it to death like a terrier with a rat. Publicly.

8.You lose – money

Let’s face it: when we’re talking business writing, we’re talking livelihoods, incomes, turnover and with luck, profit. Can you really afford to lose money through something as simple – and as easy to put right – as business writing?

3 ways to WIN with your business writing:

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

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