Because Small Business is Big Business

Posts by Michael Mitilier

Themes Party

themesIn the same way that styles are an easy way to change the look of document TEXT, themes provide a quick way to change the overall look of the DOCUMENT as a whole.  A theme consists of a set of coordinated colors, fonts and object effects. There are forty themes available in Office 2010.  Themes are a new development that first appeared in Office 2007.  If you’re using an earlier version of Microsoft Office, this tool is not available. READ MORE »


Conditional Formatting

Conditional FormattingWhen looking at a spreadsheet that’s chock full of information and row after row of data, it can be difficult to discern the bottom line at a glance.  Perhaps you want to know if members of your team met their individual sales goals for the month. Or which of your sales representatives was the top seller for the quarter.   Maybe you want to see if your expenses exceeded your budget for the year. You can easely have these things stand out in a spreadsheet by using conditional formatting READ MORE »


Form Letters

Image result for mail mergeWe’ve all received form letters and mailings from businesses that have personalized information inserted throughout the document. Frequently they will look something like this: READ MORE »


Book Excerpts Now Available

Thanks to an online marketing tool called BookGrabbr, Rule Of Thumb for Small Business book excerpts are now available.  Gone are the days of buying a book to see if you like it. With, readers can review an excerpt and if they want to read more, click on one of several “buy” links right from the BookGrabbr preview.

Readers can benefit from the BookGrabbr program which provides a viral opportunity to download or ‘Grabb’ free books and/or excerpts by simply agreeing to share the excerpt link through one or more of their social media accounts.

A complete list of books published by the imprints are available on our website: .  Once a reader finds a book they want to preview, they can go to, sign up as a reader, search for the book title, click on the link, agree to share the link with their social media, and viola, the excerpt appears on their screen. Throughout the excerpt, the program provides easy access to a number of “buy” links including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, and others.

Terri Leidich, president and publisher at BQB/WriteLife Publishing commented, “With the BookGrabbr tool, readers are able to sample the works of our many talented authors before investing in the book or eBook to read the entire story. It’s a great way for readers to discover their next favorite book and author.”


Why Email?

If you’re using email marketing, you already know it’s a valuable tool to stay connected with your customers and generate new opportunities for your business.

But if you’re new to email marketing — or are still on the fence about getting started — you may have heard some things that gave you pause.

You don’t have to look far to see examples of how email marketing can benefit your business, but if you still have some doubts based on things you’ve heard, this post will help set the record straight.

Here are five common email marketing misconceptions:

1. All email is spam

If you’ve had a bad experience with a business or organization sending you unwanted email, you may be reluctant to try email marketing for yourself.

But it’s important to ask — why did you consider that email spam?  Maybe you never asked for it in the first place? Or maybe the content you received was different from what you expected when signing up?

While there are certainly people who try deceptive email marketing tactics, it’s important to know that there are rules and laws that are meant to keep spammers away. Legislations like Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) are helping to weed out these damaging practices.

Don’t forget that there are millions of reputable businesses and organizations that follow best practices and depend on email to build relationships.

2. People don’t like reading emails

It’s great to know that not all email is spam, but are people really paying attention to the messages they receive?

Research firm, MarketingSherpa, recently went directly to 2,000 adults in the US and asked them about how they like to hear from their favorite businesses. An overwhelming majority (91 percent) said they do like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. 86 percent say they like to receive promotional emails at least monthly and 61 percent at least weekly.

Beyond the data, think about your own experience as a consumer. While there are likely some emails you receive and rarely open, there’s a good chance you have at least a few businesses and organizations that you do appreciate hearing from on a regular basis.

3. People can’t unsubscribe

You value the relationship you have with your customers and the last thing you’d want is to put them in a position where they’re receiving unwanted messages from your business.

But one of the biggest benefits of using email marketing is that you’re able to give your customers, members, and supporters more control. They have the ability to opt-in to receive your messages, and they also have the ability to opt out at any time.

4. You need special expertise or training

When you see the type of emails small businesses and organizations are able to create with an email marketing tool like Constant Contact, you may feel like there are some special skills or training required.

But one of the benefits of using an email marketing provider is that you have access to professionally-designed email templates that you can use to send your message. These templates are designed to make it quick and easy to get your message out to your audience, and ensure you look professional when it lands in the inbox. We take care of the design work for you, so that all you need to do is add your content and customize your message to fit your brand.

5. Email isn’t as effective as social media

Social media has redefined the way many businesses and organizations reach new audiences and build relationships for their business. But while these platforms are incredibly valuable, it’s important to remember that on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you don’t really have ownership of your network.

Take, for example, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. At any given moment, only a small percentage of your fans actually see the updates that come from your Facebook Page. After all the work you’ve done to build up your fan base, Facebook gets to decide who sees what. You’re playing on Facebook’s terms.

Email marketing is a cost-effective solution that gives you the power to reach customers in a place most people visit every day — their inbox.

In fact, email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers (McKinsey, 2014).

You’ll get the best results from both of these channels when you use them together.