3 Business Investments for a More Profitable Year (That Don’t Break the Bank)

Not all business investments are created equal. In this episode, learn three business investments you can make for a more profitable year.

How to Fix the 5 Biggest Mistakes in Your Wedding Planning Biz

How to Fix the 5 Biggest Mistakes in Your Wedding Planning Biz

If you’re a wedding planner (or any business owner, for that matter!), you’re likely overlooking these common business mistakes. It’s time to course-correct.

Spring Cleaning Your Life and Business: 3 Questions to Help Get Rid of the Clutter and Make Room for Magic

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In this week’s episode, I’m talking about two of my favorite things: spring cleaning and your business. As we approach the spring season, that usually brings on an urge to do some spring cleaning around the house.  But we can take that same approach and spring clean our business too! I’m sharing the three questions that you can ask yourself to free up space in your life and business in order to invite the magic to happen.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • How your physical environment has a direct impact on the other areas of your life
     
  • What to do if something is no longer serving you...
     
  • If you take good care of your things, they will do this for you…
  • What happens when you focus your time and energy on just a few key things

  • Why you need an empty shelf.

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

Contract Templates For Your Business

Connect with me on Instagram!

REMEMBER...


Legal Quickie: The Most Common Questions from Graphic, Web, and Print Designers - Answered

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In this week’s episode, we’re diving into the most common questions I get from designers. So if you’re a graphic designer, a web designer, a print designer -- you’re going to want to have a listen. And if you’re not, listen up anyway! There might be a nugget in there for you!

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

QUESTIONS YOU'LL FIND ANSWERS TO IN THIS EPISODE

  • What terms are most important to cover in a monthly retainer service agreement for a client?

  • I’m designing a logo for a client. She wants me to use a specific font. Should we both buy the font license or just me?

  • My client has asked me to prepare a website and they need a website privacy policy and terms of service. Can I just use the one that comes included with the website platform?

  • I’m looking to partner up with other designers and developers. What do I need to know before I do?

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

OTHER GOODNESS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

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Legal Quickie: What’s the difference between copyrights and trademarks?

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The last few weeks it seems like everyone is coming out of the woodworks asking me about copyrights + trademarks. And one thing is super clear to me - there’s a whole LAWta’ {<--- see what I did there? Law. Lot. A lot of.} confusion about the difference between the two.  

So in this episode I’m breaking down copyrights and trademarks, explaining the difference between the two and the benefits of officially registering your works/marks.

Armed with this knowledge - you’ll impress all of your friends at your next cocktail party!

 

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • What is a copyright and what types of works are protected under copyright law

  • The benefits of registering your work with the US Copyright Office

  • What is a trademark

  • The benefits of registering your mark with the US Patent and Trademark Office

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

 

REMEMBER...

Let's Get Down to Business: The Top Business Lessons I've Learned from this Podcast

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HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY TO THE OFFICE TALK PODCAST!

This podcast has been a passion project for me and I'm beyond thrilled that we've made it a full year together. I've got some exciting things planned for the podcast in the next year that I think you’re going to love. 

In this new episode, I thought it would be fun to take a look back on some of the lessons I’ve learned this past year about myself and my business. Some were inspired by conversations I’ve had with guests on this show, and others I’ve learned along the way. In fact this season, I’m going to be sharing more of these insights on the podcast. 

So here we go.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

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Legal Quickie: Can I Use Photographs of My Client's Wedding to Promote my Wedding Planning Business?

On this episode of Office Talk, I’m answering a question I receive quite a lot when I speak to event and wedding planners.

You see, since event planners are often busy executing and designing the event, there isn’t something tangible left for them to include in their portfolio. That’s why they rely on photographs to help showcase their work and promote their business and services to others.

So the question becomes….

Is there a way for wedding and event planners to legally require clients to contractually agree to provide them with access to professional images after the wedding? If so, how do they go about asking for permission?

I’m sharing the answer in this week’s Legal Quickie episode!

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE
 

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • The two types of permission you need to be getting – in writing
  • What is a copyright, and can it be transferred?
  • Two things you can do if you aren’t able to get written permission to use the copyrighted material

 

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER...

Uplevel Your Brand and Website with Irene Hardy

Do you have total website shame?

Do you feel like your website or your brand is missing a little somethin’ somethin’?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone and today’s Office Talk podcast guest, - Irene Hardy, the owner and creative director of Magnoliahouse Creative -  is sharing some of her designer secrets to help you uplevel your brand.

In this episode, she reveals the crucial things that you need to think about when developing your brand identity. Developing a brand is more than just picking a logo. Ultimately, it’s how you make people feel.

I also asked Irene to put my website to the test and perform a live brand audit of my website.  (Yikes!) Tune in and learn from my mistakes as she points out areas where I’m doing things right and where I can improve.

Brands aren’t reserved for just large corporate companies. Even if you’re a solopreneur or a small shop, you’ve got a brand. So listen in on this episode to learn Irene’s best tips for how to create a brand that lasts.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE
 

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • If you’re the star of your brand - how to distinguish your private life versus your brand persona online

  • Why you shouldn’t invest a lot of money upfront to brand a new business

  • Easy (and cheap) design tricks that can be implemented to make your site look more professional and grab the attention of a new visitor

  • Common website mistakes people make as she walks through a live brand audit of my website

  • The great debate - should you or shouldn’t you have a picture of yourself on your homepage

  • How to invite fun into your work (which is the reason why Irene started her own business in 2014)

CONNECT WITH HER AT

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER...

SHARE THE ONE THING SHE KNOWS FOR SURE

Nagina Abdullah: Recipe for Growing an Online Business (Even While Working Full-Time)

As you’ve and heard (or know from experience!) getting healthy and in shape can be a tough thing to do. How can someone go about doing this while juggling family, a full-time job and launching an online business at the same time? 
 
Our guest in this episode of the Office Talk podcast, knows all about the struggles that a working mother can face when it comes to balancing life, business, and her health. Nagina Abdullah joins us to share her own journey in a demanding role as a marketing consulting, which required frequent travel, and how she leveraged her own weightloss journey into an online business - MasalaBody.com. She’s now developed her brand to a point where she is able to impact the lives of hundreds of women by launching her signature training, Spice Yourself Skinny multiple times a year.
 
Nagina not only reveals how you can lose pounds and feel great while enjoying the process, but shares helpful tips about building a brand (as quickly as possible) so that you have an audience that’s ready to purchase your various offers. She also discusses the importance of investing in yourself, learning from your “failures” and focusing on the quality of your email list and getting the right people there. 

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE
 

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • What benchmark you can use to determine if your idea is resonating with your audience

  • How you can  build your own side business by dedicating just 3 to 5 hours a week to it

  • Why it's so important to talk with your prospective clients, truly understand their problems and research before launching something

  • How spending money on business is really an investment that pays dividends down the road

  • What to do if your first attempt at selling something doesn't work

  • Best ways to become an expert in your field versus just paying for advertising

CONNECT WITH HER AT

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER...

SHARE THE ONE THING SHE KNOWS FOR SURE

Legal Quickie: 4 Essential Things the FTC Wants You to Know Before Endorsing a Company's Products

Are you a blogger who receives free products or payment in exchange to share a review about that product on let's say your Instagram account or your blog?

Or maybe you're an online business owner and you participate in affiliate programs where you promote another company's products and in exchange you receive a commission for each sale that you refer.

If you're getting paid to create content promoting another company's products or services, then you've got to listen to the latest episode of the Office Talk #podcast. In it, I'm sharing four things the FTC wants you to know before you endorse another company's product or service.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Who needs to make disclosures and why
  • When to make disclosures
  • What your disclosures should say
  • How to make effective disclosures when you're using social media, your website or video to endorse a company's products or services
  • And more...

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER...

Legal Quickie: 3 Easy Fixes to Double Check Before You Send or Sign a Contract

When was the last time you took a red pen to your contracts to spot formatting mistakes? Ummmmm….. probably never. Well, believe it or not, minor errors in formatting can make a BIG impact on the way your contracts are interpreted. In this Legal Quickie episode, I’m sharing three common formatting mistakes you’re probably making with your contracts. The good news is they are super easy to fix.

So grab a copy of your contract (or if you don’t have one, check out these templates offered on the website), get your red pen, and have a listen to this episode. 

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

  • On June 28th, 2017, I’m co-hosting the Masterclass: Is Your Wedding Business Legally Protected? with the folks over at Aisle Planner.  During this hour-long presentation, we’ll cover the answers to some FAQs about your wedding or events-based business as well as answer YOUR questions. Save your seat by June 9th, to take advantage of the early bird price of $34. Full price tickets are $44. Save your spot at www.annettestepanian.com/masterclass
  • Ever wanted step-by-step instructions on how to get your business up and running - the legal way?  Well, your wish, is my command.  Get on the waiting list and be the first to learn when the doors to Your Legal BFF open - www.annettestepanian.com/wait

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Legal Quickie: How to Draft Contracts When Providing Multiple Services or Packages to Your Clients

Are you a Jack or Jill of all trades? 

Are you doing #allthethings and providing multiple services or packages to your clients? 

Are you confused about how you should address these various services or packages in your client contracts?

If the answer is “oh my dear, YES,” then, you’ll want to listen to this episode of Office Talk.  I’m answering these questions and more!

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

REMEMBER

Legal Quickie: Three things that are holding you back in business

I was curious to know what you guys are struggling with in your business.

So I recently got on the phone (yeah - the actual phone… remember that?) and spoke to dozens of folks to find out the answer to this question.  In this Office Talk podcast episode, I’m having a heart-to-heart with you and sharing some of my observations from those conversations including the three things that are holding us back in business.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER

Kristin Kaplan: Pricing and Planning for Profitability

There’s an old story about the iconic artist Pablo Picasso that goes something like this… 

Picasso was sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? 
It took you a minute to draw this!” “No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years”

This struck such a chord with me because I meet a lot of entrepreneurs (me included) who have trouble valuing their work and time. How about you? Do you experience this in your business?

Do you wonder if you’re asking for too much—or not enough—when it comes to pricing?

Do you have a financial plan for your business, or are you getting caught up in the day-to-day of serving your clients or customers, to find out that all that effort is paying you peanuts?

In this episode, Kristin Kaplan explains why pricing and planning are two of the most important factors in running a profitable business. With pricing, it can be a bit tricky to quantify the value of your time, and it’s so common for entrepreneurs to wonder if they’re overcharging or undercharging. Kristin shares some tips to take the guesswork out of it and make sure you’re getting the full value of the work you provide. She also gives some stellar advice on how to increase your profits through business planning. So basically, listening to this episode will help you make you money! {wink}

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Where to start in figuring out your pricing (without undercharging!)
  • Where so many new business owners lose money
  • How to build confidence around your pricing and see your real value
  • How to be more productive (and therefore more profitable!) in your business
  • What a business plan should include
  • The one piece of advice that all new business owners need to hear

CONNECT WITH HER AT

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER...

SHARE THE ONE THING SHE KNOWS FOR SURE

Legal Quickie: Things to Know When You Work with a Lawyer: From Fees, Questions to Ask, Finding One Who Gets You, and Figuring Out How to Prioritize Your Legal Needs

I’ve heard it all.

Lawyers are intimidating.

They’re so unrelatable.

They don’t understand me or my business.

And they’re so darn expensive.

These are the common complaints I hear from folks about working with a lawyer. And let’s not forget all the bad lawyer jokes too…. 

Well, I’m spilling the beans. In this episode, I’m sharing what you need to know before you hire a lawyer - things like fee structures, costs, questions you need to ask - as well as breaking down the law into the five topic areas you need to be thinking about as you start and grow your business.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • The various fee structures lawyers offer and what to expect to pay when you hire one
  • The three questions you should ask a lawyer when you’re ready to hire one
  • How to find a lawyer who understands you and your unique business
  • The questions you need to ask a lawyer before you hire one
  • How to prioritize all of your legal needs
  • The five “buckets” of legal issues you need to be thinking about and planning for as you grow your business

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

NEED A CONTRACT? CHECK OUT THE CONTRACT TEMPLATES

REMEMBER...

Legal Quickie: What type of business insurance do I need? with Nikki Luby

Do your eyes glaze over when you read about insurance policies?

Of course they do! I haven’t met anyone for whom that’s not the case. Even Nikki Luby, who works in commercial insurance at Excelsure, admits that insurance isn’t the most interesting of subjects. It’s more a necessary evil. In this legal quickie episode, Nikki breaks down the basics of insurance and what you really need to help you cover your booty—without putting you to sleep with all the insurance jargon!

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • The two types of insurance that every business needs
  • What kind of insurance you need if you work from home
  • How to save money on insurance policies
  • What to look for in choosing an insurance provider
  • How to determine the insurance limit you need to protect yourself

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

ENTER TO WIN A FREE VIP TICKET TO WEDDING WIRE WORLD LA

I’m speaking at Wedding Wire World in Los Angeles on May 1-2, 2017 and I’ve got an extra VIP ticket to give away. Register here to be entered to win a free VIP ticket!

You can also use the code ANNETTE2017 to save $50 off the ticket price.

REMEMBER...

Legal Quickie: Do I Really Need a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service? And More with Ryan Morrison, Esq.

Ever wonder if privacy policies, terms of service, or trademarks really matter?

Does the FTC really care about small businesses just starting out?

With cyber law constantly changing and trying to catch up to advances in technology, it can be really intimidating to make sure you’re complying, especially for new business owners. In this Legal (Not-So) Quickie episode with Ryan Morrison, deemed “The Video Game Attorney,” we’re helping you sift through what is really important to protect our business right  from the start.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • What to do when you’re strapped for cash and can’t afford legal advice or a trademark
  • The biggest mistake social media influencers make when working with companies
  • Are privacy policies and terms of service really necessary?
  • At what point should you consider filing for a trademark? 
  • What to do when you own a domain and someone begins using your brand name under a similar domain
  • What an office action is and what should you do about it

CONNECT WITH HIM AT

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER...

Legal Quickie: What bloggers, social media influencers + content creators need to know about the law with Ellie Altshuler

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Are you a social media influencer? 

A YouTube rockstar?  

Are you making waves on Instagram?

Do you want to turn that digital content you’re creating into profits?  

Then you’ll want to listen to this episode with Ellie Altshuler, an entertainment and fashion attorney.  In this Legal (not-so) Quickie episode, Ellie and I talk about our best tips for legally protecting your brand. 

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE

  • Why it’s key to own your business’s IP and how to protect it
  • When and why you need to file for a trademark
  • What licensing is and how to use it to monetize your business, 
  • What  terms to consider in negotiating a licensing contract
  • When you need to use a disclosure as an influencer while working with a brand
  • The one thing start-ups often forget that is so important to avoid risk
  • How to negotiate a stellar deal when creating content for a brand
  • What to do if it feels like your work is being copied

CONNECT WITH HER AT

RESOURCES WE TALKED ABOUT

REMEMBER...