Because Small Business is Big Business

Posts by Marian Kaiser

Organizing Information

When developing written communicate make sure you cover the basics by organizing information in a logical, easily understood manner.

organizing informationThe simple “Rule of Thumb” is the following:  Always, always, always make an outline before starting the rough draft. An outline will keep the information organized and prevent you from putting material where it doesn’t belong. READ MORE »


Networking, Not for Computers

The networking discussed here has nothing to do with computers. Networking has to do with growing your group – i.e., “network” – of business associates, customers and friends. Using “schmooze” in connection with networking puts it squarely in the context of people and conversation, not computers. The word “schmooze” is derived from a Yiddish word that means to chat or converse. It’s a fun word that helps remind all of us that we should not take ourselves too seriously – especially when engaging in some friendly schmoozing.



Listening Skills Play

The following items provide some clarification about what listening is and is not, as well as what role listening skills play in effective communication. Some you may have already thought about, others perhaps not. READ MORE »


Banish Writer’s Block

banish writer’s blockMost people have few problems knowing what they want or need to write. The problem arises when they sit down to do the actual writing. Panic sets in. Every piece of the process can seem hugely daunting and mysterious. They often have no idea where to start, let alone how to get to the finish line. How do does one banish writer’s block? READ MORE »


Of, the Unnecessary

My previous blog discussed the overuse of “up” when its use is unnecessary. Another word that finds much overuse – both unnecessary and ungrammatical – is “of.”

As the discussion of “up” suggested, stop every time you use “up” in a sentence. Doing the same with “of” is an extremely useful habit to help improve your writing. Can the “of” be eliminated with no change in meaning? Compare the following two sentences:

  • All of the employees will receive a year-end bonus.
  • All employees will receive a year-end bonus. (Notice that also eliminating “the” still maintains the meaning.)

One advantage in eliminating the unnecessary “of” is the resulting shorter sentences. Since unnecessary wordiness is one of the biggest problems for most college-age and adult writers, eliminating a word or two here and a word or two there always helps.

Keep in mind that one NEVER uses “off of.”  “Off” is sufficient. “Off of” is unpolished and high-schoolish. (Yes, I know that “high-schoolish” is not a real word, but it does reflect the effect “off of” has on one’s writing.)

Another misuse of “off of” is “based off of.” A movie may be based on a novel or a factual incident – nothing is EVER based off or off of something. So one may say, “Based on the figures you provided,” but NEVER “Based off of the figures . . . “

One will, of course, use “of” when necessary, just as one will use “up” when necessary. The goal is to avoid the unnecessary use.