Have You Been Made Redundant? – New Website


Hi Everyone.

I know it has been some time since we last had a catch up but I wanted you to know I am currently working many hours composing a brand new website. – beatredundancyblues.com

This website has been specifically designed for people who have been, or who are going to be, made redundant.

It is also for people who are currently:

  • Unemployed
  • Looking to change jobs
There will be information on :
  • Job Sites to visit
  • Counselling services
  • Interview advice
  • Organisation and time management
  • Motivation techniques
  • And so much more
With over 14 years retail experience, over 7 of which have been in Management roles, I have been made redundant twice and successfully worked my way back up the ladder.
When it comes to employment and recruitment, I have seen both sides, I know what to look out for, how to target a C.V and Cover letter that stands out from the crowd and what are big interview no no’s.
All this and more, will be at beatredundancyblues.com, COMING SOON.
I am sure you will agree it will be well worth the wait.
Write soon.
Sandra

Twenty Reasons Why You Should Self Publish


Hi Everyone

Thank you for continuing to join me on my wonderful journey of the written word.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

As you can see from my previous blogs, I am a great believer in self publishing. But why?  I hear you ask.

Let me enlighten you with my twenty reasons why you should self publish.

1)  You have overall control over the layout of your book.

2)  You can choose your own illustrator.

3)  You can work with your illustrator to come up with designs you both feel are            suitable for your story.

4)  You have control over how you publicise your books.

5)  You choose how much you are going to sell your books for.

6)  You have control over your profit and loss.

7)  You will gain more contacts for your future business which could lead to                   other publishing opportunities.

8)  You can increase your design skills.

9)  You will achieve personal satisfaction.

10)  You will never be bored as you will always have projects on the go.

11)  It will give you a sense of purpose.

12)  You will produce a product which will bring happiness to others.

13)  You can give new talent a platform to work from.

14)  You can decide on the design of your book cover.

15)  You can produce a product which may help people.

16)  It will give you a sense of great achievement.

17)  You can offer insight to the reader.

18)  It will increase your self-confidence.

19)  It will increase your self belief.

20)  You can absorb yourself in your own imagination.

You will notice I didn’t say, to make money.  Publish your writing for the love of it and you won’t go far wrong.

Write soon.

Sandra

quirkybooks.net

Sixteen Reasons Why Customer Service Is Dead!


Hi Everyone.

I have worked in retail for over fourteen years and although most companies are fighting to survive, many are not fighting to keep their customers.

Gone are the days when customers used to take the product to the till themselves and the assistant would merely put it through without much interaction.  Just as prices of goods have increased, so has their expectation.  If we as retailers and businesses, do not meet that expectation, it is likely that our customers will go elsewhere.

So why is customer service only great as an exception and not as the rule?  Why is customer service dying and in some places I have visited, it is already dead?

I racked my brain and this is what I came up with.

  1. Poorly qualified staff who have a lack of experience in their chosen field.
  2. A lack of training, this is an area companies often cut budgets for when times are tough.  If they had any sense they would make this a bigger focus to beat off their competition.
  3. The staff are poorly paid and so there is no incentive to improve.
  4. The Manager does not lead by example.  They do not approach customers so neither do their staff.
  5. Staff have pre-conceptions about who will buy and tend to focus on those particular customers rather than speak to everyone in turn.
  6. Staff do not know how to build a rapport with customers, to get to know their needs as an individual and the customer leaves feeling uncared for.
  7. Staff are disinterested in their job and therefore lack motivation.
  8. Staff have the wrong personality for the job, they don’t like engaging with strangers or approaching them.
  9. Some staff may be experiencing bullying from colleagues and it is stopping them from being confident in the job.
  10. Companies are unreliable.  Staff do not keep in contact with their customers by phoning them back when they say they will.  I have had this happen to me and it is very frustrating and rude.
  11. Customers are made to feel it is too much trouble for the business to help them get what they want.
  12. Staff don’t care.  They have a bad attitude.
  13. Staff are too task orientated and the customers are made to feel they are in the way.
  14. Owners of the business have lost touch with the reality of running it at local level and put too much pressure on staff to multi-task and hit deadlines, leaving less time for their customers.
  15. Staff are too engrossed in their own conversations and talk about things which are not of interest to the customer.
  16. Staff are miserable and take their personal problems to work with them, which customers can find uncomfortable, unwelcoming and it makes them want to leave.

I could go on.

It is good to see someone else has noticed these.  Queen of Shops, Mary Portas, has been running a series on TV examining a lack of customer services in various businesses.

If anyone has anything to add, feel free.

Write soon.

Sandra

Printers. A minefield!


Hi everyone.

If someone would have told me there were so many printer options, I would have explored more years ago.  Instead I am using every ounce of after work energy, trawling through website after website to find my perfect match. It’s tiring, frustrating and at the same time, absolutely fascinating.  Almost hypnotic.

Learning about the latest tech, has certainly filled these dark evenings a treat, but I feel so exhausted just keeping up with it all.  At least I now know what I want but can I find my perfect printing partner?  As they say, nothing is perfect.  And that is what I am finding.

I want a colour Laser printer, with duplex, (double-sided, see I have learnt something!) Which can print on a high gsm (thickness of paper, or should I say, card, I am getting good at this.) Has a print speed of around 30 ppm ( pages per minute, I feel so techy.)  And a high DPI (dots per inch, resolution.  I feel so proud.)

There is an added complication, I have a Mac and not all printers are compatible with them. Oh! I forgot to mention, as I will be working from home, it will need to be a desktop, with a narrow width of 40cm. I want to self publish my picture books, with the best possible quality of print.

Can you see the mountain I have to climb? Everest seems minute now.  There are A3 printers out there, with just the specs I need but apart from being too expensive, I cannot fit one in the space I have. Typical! I can feel my head getting very sore against that brick wall.

Dell printers are out, it would seem none are compatible with Mac. Xerox is a favourite, but cartridges are so expensive. Epson, seem to break down a fair bit. It’s good there is an Epson repair centre near where I live but it makes you wonder why they need a whole shop as a dedicated repair centre.  May be not such a good omen.  HP seem good but not the high spec I had hoped for.

Then I had a brain wave, as I am going to use the printer for the primary purpose of publishing children’s picture books, the cover will be a large factor in the consumers decision to purchase, so I need to have complete ownership of how it will look, by printing it myself on a quality weight of paper. After consulting my paper sample file, I decided 250gsm would be a good thickness for my cover and that’s when I googled printers which printed on  250gsm and stumbled upon OKI.  They print up to 250gsm on some of their A4 colour laser printers and have a model close to the specs I want.  Only one problem.  I have to travel miles to see one of these beauties in action.  Oh well!  Needs must.

I will let you know how I get on.

Write soon.

Sandra

quirkybooks.net

Beat Redundancy Blues


As 2011 is almost upon us, there will be those who are looking forward to a brand new year, with hope, optimism and positivity.  Whilst others will be facing uncertainty, bewilderment and worry.

Some people see the prospect of redundancy as a mountain they cannot begin to look at, let alone climb.

But I am here to tell you.  Redundancy may feel like the end, when in fact it is a new beginning.  One which can be filled with whatever it is that makes you happy and allow you to do things which you only ever dreamed of.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if out of blackness came light?  Wouldn’t it be the best thing that ever happened to you, if your life was to be turned upside down to live the dream you have always wanted.  I want to show you how.

Redundancy, for me, was a journey of personal discovery, one which was thrust upon me, as I am sure it would have been for many of you.  Although I hated it at the time, I now know, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me.

In my new book, I will show you how to motivate yourself throughout redundancy and get back into work.  I want to share my experiences with you, in the hope you will have good fortune because of your redundancy and that you will be happy because of it.

Believing in yourself is key and it wasn’t until I was made redundant, that I began to believe in myself and achieve more in my life because of it.

Turning negative into positive is essential.  Part of my motivating you, to motivate yourself, will show you how this can be achieved.

I love helping people.  I want to share my experiences with you and help you to beat redundancy blues.

Learn more at quirkybooks.net

Write soon.

Sandra

Continue reading “Beat Redundancy Blues”

Set your sales sizzling and survive


Hi Everyone

I have worked in retail for over fourteen years, of which, more than seven, have been in Management roles.

I want to use my skills and knowledge to help you and your business make more sales.

Throughout my training I have learnt the key ingredients to being a successful seller.

With the right ATTITUDE a lot of EFFORT and the will to SUCCEED.  You can and will, set your sales sizzling from the start.

If yours is a forward thinking company, then it may be you have sold this way for years.  Good for you.  Your business is more likely to survive the coming hardship of the next year.

You may have employed a company trainer, to think this way for you.  You are partly there.

Your company may have just had a lightbulb moment and decided to get switched on.

Or your company may think it can survive as it is.

Whichever way it is, sometimes having that reassurance or knowledge from someone who has had a variety of experiences through working for different employers, can help immensely.  I can teach you, how to turn more browsers in to buyers and forge the way for a brighter future.

Now doesn’t that sound great!

I am living proof of what can be achieved.

Join me and you will not be disappointed.

Write soon.

Sandra

REDUNDANCY IS A CRYING SHAME – OR IS IT?


Hi everyone.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the written word.

Have you recently been made redundant and thought it was the end of your world?

Have you come to a stand still in your job hunt?

Are the usual C.V.’s just not working?

Do you lack motivation and want some help?

Do you see redundancy as an opportunity or as an obstacle?

The answers to these questions and more, will be in my new book.

If you have been affected by redundancy in any way, I want to hear from you.  I am looking for people to share their experiences, as part of case studies within my book.  If you would  like to take part please contact me at quirkybooks.net@quirkybooks.plus.com or you can use the contact form on my website quirkybooks.net

Write soon.

Sandra