Friday, May 1, 2015

How to Use Google Forms for your Small Business

Hello Friends!

I recently discovered an amazing (and free!) resource for my small business and I wanted to share my secret with you. It's not a secret, really. In fact, you may already be using this tool - if so, then you're a step ahead of me!

It's called Google Forms

Using this tool provides so many options. I have two small businesses, one is sharing Essential Oils and the other is my Etsy shop. I'm using one form currently to provide a wellness assessment for friends and family who are interested in learning more about how essential oils might benefit them. So I created a form using a combination of multiple choice questions and text answers to gather information from respondents. I posted it on my personal Facebook page with an invitation for people to complete the form if they wanted more information about essential oils. Then, I download the responses into an excel file so I can easily see the information in one organized location and follow up with everyone.

If you'd like to test out Google Forms for yourself, follow these simple steps:

Go to the link above.
Click on Go To Google Forms.
Done! You're in a new form that you can edit and use however you want!

I like to do the following to get started setting up my forms....
1) at the top left, name your form (this is helpful for obvious reasons)
2) think about the question format that works best for what you need - having multiple choice answers, allowing folks to type in their own answers, etc.
3) create your custom form

You'll see a box with a question - fill in the question title and then edit the TYPE of question. For example, if you're asking for someone's name or contact information, you'd probably want to use a text or paragraph response. If you wanted to ask a question such as "Have you ever used such-and-such product" then you might want to select multiple choice.You can even choose "check boxes" and provide some standard answers and allow folks to choose from your list. 

After your first question is set up the way you want, you can mark it as a required response or leave it optional. Next, you can click on "add item" and you'll have another question box to complete. It's so simple!

Once you have all your questions set up, you can add a note to the bottom of the page that folks will see after they complete the form. I like to add a thank you note here, and any other details about how soon I'll be contacting them or something like that. 

Lastly, you will click on "view live form" to make sure you like the way it appears. Then at the top of the main page, click the box that says "Send Form". A new box will open up and you can copy the URL for the form to add to your social media or emails. YAY!

The fun part is seeing responses. You will be able to view the results on your google drive, and you can even analyze the results with a graph or chart. 

 Have fun and be creative with this amazing tool....and let me know how YOU use it!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dried Pineapple Rings....and a bonus!

Hello friends!

This past weekend, I was looking for a healthy snack and remembered that I had 3 cans of pineapple rings (in 100% juice) sitting in my pantry. I bought them on sale for .97 cents each a while back with the intent of drying them. I went thru a big dried pineapple phase a few months ago, but cutting, peeling and chopping pineapple just to dehydrate became too much work for me and my busy schedule. So...when I saw the sale pineapple rings, I figured I'd hit the jackpot!

I thought I might have to cut the rings in half to make them thinner, but NOPE. They dry up to be the perfect size for snacking. This really doesn't get much easier, or cost effective.

Step 1: Drain the juice (and SAVE IT)

Step 2: Prepare a foil lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top. 

Step 3: Put pineapple rings on top of cooling racks (to let the air circulate).

Step 4: Find something else to do while you dehydrate these gyus for 12 hours (or so, based on your oven settings) at 135 degrees. 

Step 5: EAT. Voila, dehydrated pineapple rings!

I'm going to make a ton of these and then vacuum seal them into mason jars for storage purposes. 

Now, let's talk about the juice. It's basically 100% no sugar added pineapple juice. That stuff is expensive when purchased by the bottle (Any Tone It Up sisters here!? You know what I'm talking about!). So of course, keeping it refrigerated in a mason jar strictly for drinking purposes was my first thought. But thanks to the YouTubes, I also discovered that with the juice of 6 cans of pineapple rings you can make 12 half pint jars of pineapple jam or pineapple syrup. 

Say what now?!?

Yea, Totes. Jam or syrup and a huge bag full of dried pineapple rings for just $6....I love this!

This is my first affiliate link, thank you for your support of my blog! Get Pineapple Rings here from Amazon!