Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hurricane Season Begins

Hurricane Season started with a bang yesterday with Tropical Storm Barry. The first time in years that a named storm formed on the first day of the season. It's going to be a long season! We've already had tornado warnings and we've already lost our patio screen over our pool, and of pool is flooding, Bummer!! Even worst is it's going directly to my son in Gainesville. Double Bummer!

You need to be prepared. As many know I'm the author of the Home Office Recovery Plan. Disaster Preparedness for your home-based business. It is my best help when stressful situations like this happen. I'd be happy to send anyone a sample of this plan for emailing me at

Also, here's some additional information you might find beneficial. Thanks ... Diana Ennen


Contact: Diana Ennen - (954) 971-4025

Hurricane Season is Here and Already Paving a Destructive Course
Follow These Tips to Prepare Now and Save Your Home-based Business

Margate, Florida, The 2007 hurricane season began with a bang with Tropical Storm Barry. With the memories still vivid of last year’s four major hurricanes and many homes and businesses still not repaired, many are wondering what can we do to protect ourselves? How can we prepare? Fortunately, the answers are as close as a new book on Disaster Recovery, Home Office Recovery Plan: The Disaster Preparedness Guide for Your Home Business.

Home Office Recovery Plan: The Disaster Preparedness Guide for Your Home Business offers a complete resource guide on contingency planning with customized forms enabling you to write down all the vital information necessary to keep your business functioning in case of a disaster. It includes essential information that is often left out, but critical to safeguarding your business, including outlining your corporate structure, who your clients are, any subcontractors, web information and hosting, and personal details as well. You’ll be able to file insurance claims easily, learn ways to back-up your computer, have the information readily available and be able to have someone ready and able to come in and take over. This peace of mind is what you need this busy hurricane season.

Co-Author Diana Ennen, lives in Margate Florida and like many Floridians witnessed four hurricanes last year firsthand. Patty Gale had the unique experience of writing a contingency plan for clients in New York after 9-11. Both are successful home-based business owners. And both know how importance of this plan. Together they wrote this book on Disaster Recovery utilizing all their personal experience in an effort to prevent the alarming statistics that face home-based businesses. For example, did you know that 40 percent of all businesses hit by a natural disaster fail to reopen and 25 percent that reopen close within a year. This is according to the June 27th issue of the Sun Sentinel Newspaper in a column by Robyn Friedman.

You need to prepare and you need to prepare NOW, not only for hurricanes but also fires, earthquakes, floods, computer crashes, theft and anything else that could harm the survival of your small or home-based business.”

Here are some tips that Ennen recommends all businesses follow to ensure their safety:

Keep client contracts, wills, important papers, etc., in a safe location.

Document where all your important papers can be found.

Back-up all your files and keep a copy off site. Pay special attention to your client files. Check this back-up to make sure it’s working. Fed-Ex copy out of state if necessary.

Do an inventory of all your business property and take photos. Attach receipts to the inventory if available.

For additional disaster recovery tips and a free sample chapter of our book, stop by Virtual Word Publishing,
Media -- Diana Ennen is the author of several books on starting a virtual assistant business including Virtual Assistant the Series ( She’s the President of Virtual Word Publishing ( is available for media interviews by contacting her at

Friday, June 01, 2007

Surefire Ways to Pack a Punch With Your Ezines & Newsletters

Newsletters are such a vital part of a virtual assistant and small business' marketing ... I thought you would enjoy this article.

Newsletters, or ezines, can be extremely effective marketing tools for your business. They put your name in front of your potential clients, regular clients, and peers while showing your expertise and professionalism. They are an excellent means to both market and grow your business and also show your existing clients your creative abilities.

What’s an ezine? It’s short for electronic magazine. It’s those e-mail newsletters that you receive on a regular basis. If you are not sending one out now, seriously consider doing so. It can make a big difference in both your business and your bank account. For example, I know one life coach who sends out regular ezines. Lately she acknowledged that she started getting 30+ people signing up every day! When you think about that, 30+ new potential clients a day. Now doesn’t it make sense to utilize this as a regular part of your marketing?

Now the only drawback is to ensure your newsletter is worthy of being read. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, but find I regularly only read a few upon their arrival. When I decided to create my own newsletter, one of the first things I did was to look at those newsletters I regularly read and determine what it was about them that made me want to read them. What sets them apart from the rest? One of the most important things I discovered was that they provided me with valuable information to help me in my business. They often provided information I didn’t already know. For example, some newsletters provide tips on search engine optimization, affiliate programs, or software shortcuts. Since I’m always looking to grow my business, this information is valuable to me. You normally have knowledge in a given field that others don’t, when preparing your newsletter, think about what expert knowledge you have or can obtain that would interest your targeted market. Now that’s what you want to add to your newsletter.
In writing your newsletter, keep the following points in mind:

Your Readers

Know your readers and what they want.
Ask your readers for feedback and how to improve.
Talk to your readers. Don’t just put information in your newsletter, think about that audience out there reading your newsletter. How do they feel after reading what you’ve prepared?

Your Writing Style

Use short, simple sentences; keeping paragraphs short.
Write clearly and avoid slang or profanity.
Use humor and keep a refreshing tone to your writing.
Keep your tone friendly, but also professional.
Have white space between the paragraphs.
Use small graphics whenever applicable.
Include your logo for business recognition.
Use bold or italics for emphasis, but don’t underline.
Use plain text. (12-14 point)


Entice the reader with your heading to ensure they read the article.
Headlines should be slightly larger than the other text.
Use bold or italics and a good font, but don’t use all caps.

Content of Newsletter

Content is king! Just like on your website, it’s vital to have your newsletter or ezine packed full of useful information.
Provide articles written by you and other experts.
Provide any new services or features you’ve added to your business.
Provide links of relevant press releases, articles, other sites, etc. This gives readers more information that they can review.
Provide case studies, facts not known, etc. Sign up for Google News so that you can get information your clients might not have seen.
Provide a collection of valuable small business tips, testimonials, etc.
Provide a personal message from you. Many enjoy hearing how you are doing and what’s new happening in their life and business.
Provide humorous quotations or jokes.
Contests / Polls / Freebies / Quizzes / Games!! Let the fun begin. Why not include something that makes the reader look forward to taking a break from their busy day to read your newsletter?

The Final Step -- Proofing

Make sure everything is 100% accurate with no typos.
Make sure you have permission for any copyrighted material.
Make sure if you have sources, you have credited them correctly.
Most ezines are “opt-in,” which means that everyone who receives it has actually registered to receive it—they want it already. Now the only thing you need to do is provide them great information that keeps them wanting it every month.
Diana Ennen, Author: Virtual Assistant the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA (co-author: Kelly Poelker -, Words From Home: Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business ( and the Home Office Recovery Plan (co-author: Patty Gale - -- Contact her at

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Publicity Hound University New Class

Hi everyone!

I'm very excited to be a part of Joan Stewart's, (THE PUBLICITY HOUND) new class. It's going to be awsome for any Virtual Assistants, Interns, or others who want to learn more about publicity or specializing in publicity if you are a virtual assistant.

Here's some details from Joan. Any questions, please post here or e-mail me at

Publicity Hound University will teach assistants, virtual assistants and interns how to help their bosses or clients with publicity. It will be held June 11-15.

Registration is $497.

Your assistant can do so much more!

Wouldn't life be a lot easier if you could work with an assistant who is fully trained on how to handle most of the day-to-day tasks of your publicity campaign? If you already have an assistant who does little more than administrative chores, it's time to turn your assistant into someone who can assume many of the duties of promoting your product, service, cause or issue.

Publicity expert Joan Stewart will train assistants, virtual assistants and interns June 11-15, via a series of teleseminars.

Joan has recruited her own army of guest experts to join her on the calls. They will be teaching assistants how to research media outlets, ghostwrite articles and post them to online article directories, use reprints multiple ways, update print and online media kits, find bloggers who can write about you, find podcasters who can feature you on their podcasts, use editorial
calendars, form valuable relationships with journalists, and write press releases not
only for journalists, but for the search engines.

I will be presenting with Joan as well and look forward to meeting everyone. For additional information,

Teachers Become Part-Time Entrepreneurs

Teachers and educators, are you finally ready for a change? You have successfully handled a classroom full of rambunctious kids all year and successfully taught them their lesson plans and how to do their ABCs and math. You encouraged, taught, and showed them exactly what it takes to learn and to be the best they can be. But now it’s your turn. Time to put yourself first and start on your journey to do what’s right for you. Time to finally begin your entrepreneurial dream of starting your own business or perhaps adding a supplementary income to your teacher’s salary. Time to do something just for you. And with summer right around the corner, the timing couldn’t be better. Plus, parents will spend over $4 billion nationwide this year on academic tutoring, with a predicted growth of 12 to 15 percent a year. You can see that now is the perfect time for teachers and others to consider starting their own home-based business in the hot educational industry.

The problem is finding the right business. One that can use your expertise and skills and will afford you the opportunity to not only make a great income, but feel the personal growth and satisfaction that comes with owning your own business. You want a business with a proven track record of success and one that can easily help you achieve a six-figure income. But perhaps the most important component of becoming an entrepreneur is finding a business that gives you the same personal satisfaction that teaching does, allowing you to help others, especially children. You know you can make a difference and you want that same feeling of gratitude and pride to continue outside of the classroom.

Is there such a business? The good news is, there is. Starting a home tutoring business is a perfect match for teachers and educators, women or men entering the workforce after staying home to care for family, or people who worked in Corporate America for many years and want a change. Whether you want to earn extra money or leave teaching all together and start your own business, starting a home tutoring business is the right choice. There is nothing better than being your own boss and making great money, even surpassing the income you made when employed by someone else – all from your home office on your own schedule.

So what exactly is involved in starting your own home tutoring business? Here are some of the facts, but we also encourage you to stop by our site, Home Tutoring Business, for additional information.

By starting your own home tutoring business, you become a tutor broker, where you manage a network of professional teachers and educators, matching them with students in need of one-on-one in-home tutoring. In a sense you are establishing a home tutoring referral network in your community. The owner of the business, you, becomes a matchmaker, or broker, matching qualified tutors and teachers with children in need of individualized tutoring. Revenue is earned by splitting the fee for tutoring services with your tutors and teachers. The more hours you bill, the more income you will make. The potential for making money is virtually only limited to the amount of students for which you are willing to provide tutors.
All of the tutoring is done in the privacy of the child’s home. Clients love the convenience of this service because they do not have to drive anywhere to have their children tutored. Kids love it because there is no peer pressure to perform. They are in the comfort of their own home with the undivided attention of a dedicated teacher/tutor. Our experience has been that children learn better from individualized, private instruction. One does not get that at a busy learning center. You will be taking the time to get to know the student and family and matching them with a tutor who can help them with their academic needs, personalities and learning styles. This one-on-one attention is effective and offers parents the convenience of not having to drive their children anywhere to get quality, individualized tutoring.
The tutors you hire enjoy it because you have it all set up for them. They don’t have the expense of advertising for students, they can work with families that have signed a tutoring contract and have been “pre-screened” by you. The tutoring is consistent (we suggest at least one hour a week per subject per student) and they can pick and choose their clients and make their own schedules based on how far they want to travel and what subjects and grades they can tutor. Tutors love the flexibility and the constant stream of business being offered to them. It’s a win/win for all.
Laurie Hurley, the president of Home Tutoring Business, has been matching tutors with students since 2001 connecting over 150 qualified tutors with pupils throughout Southern California, and successfully assisting hundreds of students by matching them with dedicated professionals. During the peak school months, Hurley’s list of qualified instructors is extensive, and her clientele upwards of 200 kids tutored on any given evening during the school week. And, since 2005 Hurley has been offering her Home Tutoring Business Package to entrepreneurs wanting the same opportunity, to start their own tutoring referral business. Hurley offers entrepreneurs a program that provides all the necessary tools including a website and access to a customized accounting software program, as well as a detailed business manual.

Hurley states, “When I started out I made some mistakes, learned from them, and developed a distinct style of marketing myself and my business. At times I learned the hard way what didn’t work. It often cost me money, but I used every opportunity to improve upon my service and expand my home-based business. In the Home Tutoring Business Manual© I share my successes and failures and give the buyer the knowledge and business ideas to build a successful company. One of the hardest aspects of starting a new business is feeling like you are doing it alone. With HTB, our business packages provide on-going support and advice, which is like having a personalized business coach and mentor to help you grow your business.”

Home Tutoring Business Packages provides the personal accomplishments and financial freedom of being a business owner with its easy step-by step format. You don’t have to be a tutor or have any background in education. HTB gives you the entrepreneurial edge to create a lucrative tutoring service, matching qualified educators with students for private in-home tutoring. Hurley has been featured in various periodicals from Entrepreneur Magazine and Woman’s World Magazine, to Inside Business Newspaper to name a few and is receiving national recognition for her works.
One tutor broker, Jane Saeman, from Orange County, California had this to say about the program, “I was looking for a business that was “All ready to go” and all I had to do was implement it and continue to work it, but that I wouldn’t have to pay monthly franchise fees. Another requirement was not to pay an enormous amount for the business that I would be starting. Add in an ability to create my own flexible schedule and an unlimited amount of money I could make (depending upon how much time I wanted to put into the business) and I had found what I had been looking for. Now that I have bought and implemented the business, I am very much impressed by how thorough Laurie has been in putting it all together. The concept, the manual, the forms, the website, the marketing materials and suggestions and the ability to know that any question I need answered is “just an e-mail away” have all contributed to my being able to build a substantial business that is continuing to grow.”

Resolve to make a difference this year and fulfill your dream of being more financially independent by owning a business that contributes in a positive way to your community. Don't wait any longer to make your dreams come true. Home Tutoring Business may be the opportunity you've been looking for. For additional information contact us today at

Laurie Hurley has been featured in national magazines including Entrepreneur Magazine’s Summer Start-Up Guide, Woman's World, Family Circle, Family Fun, Parenting and more. Her site at offers detailed information on getting started in your own tutoring brokering business. For additional information contact Hurley at Article is free to reprint as long as author's bio remains intact.