November 17, 2009

Business gift idea: notecard set

Filed under: Featured Design Project,Goods & Wares — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 2:00 pm

A great way to say thank you to clients and coworkers is with a set of decorated notecards. We all know how meaningful a handwritten note is, but it’s easy to forget—especially during the busy holiday season. Make it easy for your gift recipient and give them a set of notecards plus a fancy pen and packet of stamps. In fact, maybe you should pick up a set (or two) for yourself too!

Shown are favorites from (left to right) our own line of greeting cards, Night Owl Paper Goods and fellow Chicago artist Laura Berger.

* * *

Watch the bright spot for new business gift ideas each week! And for more ideas read our Tipsheet How do I Find Alternatives to Traditional Gift Giving?

November 9, 2009

Business gift idea: nifty desk pads

Filed under: Goods & Wares — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 3:26 pm

30019_PerfectAssistantBundlThe Perfect Assistant Bundle of desk pads from Knock Knock is the perfect gift for a cubicle-dwelling co-worker or client. The set includes essentials such as My Top Secret Password Pad, Endless Voicemail Paper Mousepad, While You Were Out Nifty Note and the Paper E-Mail Nifty Note.

Or make a custom desk stationery set by choosing from Knock Knock’s assortment of fun and snarky desk pads and file folders. Make working fun again!

* * *

Watch the bright spot for new business gift ideas each week! And for more ideas read our Tipsheet How do I Find Alternatives to Traditional Gift Giving?

November 5, 2009

Business gift idea: (hip) gift basket

Filed under: Goods & Wares,Local (Chicago) — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 3:22 pm

6fcb35dfa03f040c0f14ed342d633a38For a modern take on the traditional holiday gift basket, head over to That’s Caring. Gone are the fruitcakes and meats, their hip gift baskets offer gourmet pastas, spa goodies and pet treats, just to name a few. Many selections are from local businesses such as one of my faves, The Enterprising Kitchen—and their baskets are packaged and shipped using environmentally friendly materials and methods. Your client or colleague will be thrilled with their gift—and you’ll have the warm fuzzy feeling that comes along with supporting local businesses and the envrionment.

* * *

Watch the bright spot for new business gift ideas each week! And for more ideas read our Tipsheet How do I Find Alternatives to Traditional Gift Giving?

October 26, 2009

Business gift idea: city guidebook

Filed under: Goods & Wares,Local (Chicago) — Tags: , , — lidia @ 9:00 am

0811810712_normThese city guidebooks from Chronicle Books make a great gift for out-of-town clients, as well as locals. With the Moleskine City Notebook Chicago and 52 Adventures in Chicago, your faraway clients can get to know your hometown—while local colleagues can play tourist in their own city. Several other cities are also offered in both series.

* * *

Watch the bright spot for new business gift ideas each week! And read our Tipsheet How do I Find Alternatives to Traditional Gift Giving? for more ideas.

October 13, 2009

Business gift idea: travel mug

Filed under: Design & Art,Goods & Wares — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 12:53 pm

sPY-CMWFLOWith Thanksgiving around the corner, I’m thinking about all the special people in my business life—and how I can thank clients, vendors and other colleagues who make my life easier all year long. These fun, colorful travel mugs from French designers Créa Créa will make a unique business gift—and are sure to brighten up a desk or work commute. Créa Créa also has lots of other fun and funky desk accessories. (thanks to Stationery Trends magazine where I discovered their products)

Watch the bright spot or follow us on Twitter for more business gift ideas each week! And check out our Tipsheet, How do I Find Alternatives to Traditional Gift Giving? for more great ideas on finding unique business gifts.

October 8, 2009

How to find the work…

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion,Networking,Small Business — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 5:33 am
small-biz-tips

see more tipsheets

Hot off the presses… our latest Small Business Tipsheet: How to Find the Work.

Nine quick and easy tips for finding new clients or projects.

September 23, 2009

What I learned on my summer vacation: Part 15

Filed under: Client Communication — Tags: , , — lidia @ 12:26 pm

Part of a series of post-Creative Freelancer Conference postings:

15. Be nice. Show you care.

Do what you say you will do. Return phone calls. Respond to emails promptly. Send a thank you note. Forward a useful article or website. Be friendly and helpful.

It’s all so easy (and obvious), but sometimes we get busy and forget. Clients know we are busy, so they notice when we take the time to focus on them (and when we don’t). As someone said: it’s the little things that count.

(inspired by Peleg Top’s comments in the Speaker Q&A session)

September 10, 2009

What I learned on my summer vacation: Part 8

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 1:49 pm

Part of a series of post-Creative Freelancer Conference postings:

8. Polish up your presentation skills with strong content and confident delivery:

  1. Focus needs to be on the client: their issues, problems, situation
  2. Your capabilities should resonate with their issues: how can you solve their problem?
  3. Build/maintain steady client contact prior to presentation (phone calls, emails)
  4. Build an outline (3-5 bullet points): use active verbs, simple terms, short copy
  5. Rehearse: memorize the most important points, consider what questions may come up
  6. When presenting, engage the audience, be authentic: use humor or relate a story to the content

(Inspired by Darryl Salerno’s session, Effective Presentations for Creative Solopreneurs)

September 9, 2009

What I learned on my summer vacation: Part 7

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , — lidia @ 3:32 pm
photo by eshm

photo by eshm

Part of a series of post-Creative Freelancer Conference postings:
7. Ask the right questions when meeting with a prospective client:
  1. Why did you choose me?
  2. Why are you looking to do [project] now?
  3. What are your goals and objectives?
  4. What is the problem? What hurts?
  5. Who is your target market?
  6. What is your role in the project?
  7. What is your timeline?
  8. What models are you using? Is this based on something you’ve used or seen in the past?
  9. Are you looking for strategy — or just execution?
  10. What research has been (or should be) done?
  11. Who are the key players in the decision-making process?

Interviewing a potential client will help determine if you are the right fit — as well as form a strong foundation for the project. I plan to append to my current Client Questionnaire with these great questions, inspired by Peleg Top’s session (The Essential Rules for Writing and Presenting Proposals).

« Newer Posts