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Women TIES :: Women Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success
 

Wednesday Wisdom

Success Strategies From Binghamton Event
Mar 20, 2019

Today's Success Strategies come from the March 13, 2019 Women TIES Binghamton event. These are business success strategies pertinent to women in the room. We hope they help you today too. 

First Topic: Using Social Media Marketing Advertising vs. Traditional Marketing


* A company in the room had their company page blocked by Facebook and wants to know how other women post on Facebook or promote company news or events some suggestions were: 
1. Post the "news" as an event opposed to a page comment. Then share that news with your friends. 
2. Teach something in posts opposed to stating or proclaiming something. 
3. Use more videos of products and services since video is a popular way now for Instagram (owned by Facebook) to be used to promote company's products/services. 
4. Ask more people to share your news - this is viral marketing. 
5. Use #hashtags all the time. Create your own for something you are promoting. 
6. Offer a percent or discount on social media and study the results. 

* Some women use traditional display ads still to market their companies. They like advertising deals that come with editorial copy next to the ad. This is something the Binghamton Reporter offers in their publications. 

Second Topic: Building and Growing a Business

* Hire only part time workers - like an assistant - to do non-revenue producing work for the company while the owner focused on the revenue/sales parts of the business. 
* 1099 someone. 
* Let go of everything being the way you do it and become less of a perfectionist. 
* Set time to train the new hire well. Training is really important to have your brand, mission and work done the way you want it done. 
* Have part time staff train other part time staff as you grow. 

Third Topic: Need Better Time/Self Management
* Must become a better planner of tasks and responsibilities. 
* Make a "to do list" of top three priorities at end of each day to use at the start of every work day. Cross off what gets done. Add  new items. Update the list at the end of the day to use the following day. 
* 75% of entrepreneurs don't do their Top 3 tasks. Make them a priority. 
* Give up Facebook/Social Media during the day. 
* Hire a coach and discover priorities in your life. 
* Dedicate first hour of the day to making money. 
* It is okay to give yourself permission to take care of yourself first sometimes. We are WOMEN first and ENTREPRENEURS second. 


 


Success Strategies: Top Rated Services
Mar 6, 2019

Today's success strategies come from top rated services seen or experienced at the Mayo Clinic with ideas for you to add similar excellence to your business. 

1. If setting up appointments with new clients, send a welcome letter or email with dates, times, location, and information to make their trip and time with you easier to find and retrieve. 

2. Upon arrival, greet them with a friendly tone and spirit, confirming the reason for the appointment before you jump into details. Ask them if there is anything else they should know before the appointment begins. 

3. Be a clear communicator during the appointment. Take notes if necessary to followup with them. 

4. Follow-up with 24-72 hours on anything you promise or need to do for them as stated in the meeting/appointment. If you can't follow up immediately, give them a time when you will and make sure you deliver on that time. 

5. Make sure customers know they can reach you via phone for questions or follow-up as  necessary. Since "portals" are the way doctors communicate with patients, perhaps an email is a better system for you to communicate with them if phone is difficult. Don't text customers unless you know they check their texts. 

6.  Always thank customers for their time when you speak with them. They are your number one priority. 



 


Success Strategies: Marketing Tips for 2019
Feb 20, 2019

Women TIES Member Anne Notarthomas of eKarmia, Rebecca Duger of Uniquely Designed along with Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham lent marketing tips to the Oswego County Business Magazine #160. Thank you to Deb Sargent for asking for our input. You can find all the tips in the online magazine at this link:

https://issuu.com/ocbm/docs/oswego_biz__160_feb_march/48


 
 


Success Strategies: Major Brands Who Pivot
Feb 13, 2019

Inspiration for business pivots can come from many well known brands including Twitter, Pay Pal and Starbucks. I found an article that showcases some of these major pivots at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/10/08/14-famous-business-pivots/#309b7d215797:

The most critical decision for an entrepreneur is to know when to stay the course vs. change direction.  I’ve spoke at length about how to deal with “The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma.”  Today we launched the new version of Docstoc that completes our 6 year evolution from a professional document sharing website to the go-to resource to start and grow small businesses.  In part we were inspired by some of the most famous business pivots of some of the most famous brands.  Here are fourteen extraordinary examples:

Twitter

The most legendary pivot in social media history is the transformation of Odeo into Twitter.  Odeo began as a network where people could find and subscribe to podcasts, but the founders feared the company’s demise when iTunes began taking over the podcast niche.  After giving the employees two weeks to come up with new ideas, the company decided to make a drastic change and run with the idea of a status-updating micro-blogging platform conceived by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone.

PayPal 

PayPal has always focused on payments, but it has gone through many permutations. It was developed by a company called Confinity in 1999 to allow people to “beam” payments from their PDAs (handheld digital computers, such as the Palm Pilot, an early incarnation of the smartphone). After merging with a financial services company called X.com, PayPal became the preferred online payment system for eBay sellers, which propelled its name into payment processing fame.

Groupon

In 2007 Andrew Mason created a website called The Point, which was a “social good” fundraising site that ran on a “tipping point” system, where a cause would only receive funding once the pledged donations reached a certain number.  Mason started Groupon as a side project, which applied a similar “tipping point” concept to local deals: if enough people pledged to do an activity, they would unlock a discount on it. The Groupon project quickly eclipsed The Point in popularity, and became the daily deal tycoon we know today.

Starbucks

The coffee shop which now inhabits every street corner (and sometimes two on each street corner) did not always sell fresh-brewed coffee to customers. They started off in 1971 selling espresso makers and coffee beans, which Howard Schultz (current chairman, president and CEO) fell in love with on first taste. After his visit to Italy in 1983, Schultz was determined to actually brew and sell Starbucks coffee in a European-style coffeehouse, and transformed Starbucks into the nationwide java sensation it has become today.

Nokia

These days Nokia may be in need of another pivot, but we all remember the glory days when a large percentage of cellphone users sported a Nokia (usually adorned with a trendy plastic case). Nokia actually began as a Finnish paper mill in 1865; the second mill opened on the Nokianvirta river, which inspired the company name we know today. Nokia created a wide variety of products throughout the 20th century including rubber goods, electronics and telecommunications devices, and eventually their first mobile phone in 1992. They decided in the same year to focus exclusively on their mobile devices, and sold off all other divisions of the company.

Flickr

Flickr actually began as an online role-playing game called Game Neverending, where users would travel around a digital map, interact with other users and buy, sell and build items. The game also included a photo-sharing tool, which turned out to be one of the most popular aspects of the game. The company decided to leverage this photo popularity and pivot to Flickr, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2005, and became one of its most beloved and successful acquisitions.

Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard has shifted focus since it launched as an engineering company in 1947. It began by creating a slew of electrical testing products, including audio and signal generators, but in 1968 introduced the first large-scale personal computer. Personal consumer-friendly computers did not catch on until the 1990’s, when HP focused solely on getting Americans to buy home computers and diverged the production of their testing equipment into a separate company. Since then it has focsused mainly on computers and printing/scanning accessories.

Nintendo

We all know Nintendo for innovating and inspiring an era of mass-produced video games, such as Super Mario and Donkey Kong. However, the company existed several centuries before that, and dabbled in producing everything from playing cards to vacuum cleaners, instant rice, a taxi company and even a short-stay hotel chain (also called a “love hotel,” I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what that is). It was in 1966 that Nintendo started producing electronic games and consoles, which gained wide popularity over the following 30 years.

Instagram

Instagram is the most widely used photo app for iPhone, but many don’t know its origins. Instagram began as Burbn, a check-in app that included gaming elements from Mafia Wars, and a photo element as well. The creators worried Burbn had too much clutter and potential actions, and would never gain traction. So they took a risk and stripped all the features but one: photos. They rebuilt a version of the app that focused solely on photography—it was clean and simple, and clearly it paid off.

Wrigley

Wrigley didn’t always sell gum. In fact William Wrigley Jr. stumbled on the value of gum while giving it away for free. Mr. Wrigley Jr. moved to Chicago in the 1890’s and took up work as a soap and baking powder salesman. He got the idea of offering free chewing gum with his purchases, and the gum proved to be more popular than his actual product.  Wrigley went on to manufacture his own chewing gum brands, Juicy Fruit, Spearmint and eventually Doublemint. Today the company grosses billions in revenue and is one of the most recognizable brands in American history.

Avon

Avon is one of the most popular names in makeup, whose products are sold by beauty representatives throughout the world. It started, however, with a similar history to Wrigley. David H. McConnell was a traveling book salesman, and he realized that his female customers were more interested in the free samples of perfume that came with the books than the books themselves. He began recruiting women to sell his perfume product, believing they would be able to relate and sell to one another better than male salesmen.

Fab.com

Fab, a modern fashion site that pulls hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually, actually began as Fabulis, as a social network targeted towards gay men. Although their social site tanked, in their side jobs the co-founders had a knack for selecting products that customers liked, so they decided to take a totally new direction with Fab selling hand-picked home goods, clothing and accessories. Their sense of taste paid off, as Fab now has over 10 million loyal users and is on an upward trajectory.

Pinterest

This incredibly popular “pinning” social network pivoted from “Tote” which allowed people to browse and shop their favorite retailers, and sent them updates when their favorite items were available and on sale. The creators realized that the users of Tote were mostly interested in building “collections” of their favorite items, and sharing these collections with friends. Since its repositioning, Pinterest now has over 70 million users with approximately 80% of its users being women. While its pivot has been wildly successful in terms of user growth, Pinterest is trying to figure out how to get back to Tote’s ecommerce and revenue roots.

Suzuki

This automotive company may be best known in the U.S. today for their high-performance motorcycles and sports vehicles. But from 1910 to 1935 Michio Suzuki was best known as the inventor and purveyor of weaving loom machines that powered Japan’s silk industry. An inventor at heart, Suzuki started looking for other products to produce in the interest of diversification. Suzuki’s complete 180 might have even given the founders of Odeo and Twitter pause. In either case, it’s all quite tweet-worthy.


Six Lessons In Taking A Pause From A Business
Feb 1, 2019

These six lessons were shared by Women TIES President Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham at a Syracuse special event on January 31, 2019. The event was sponsored by Pathfinder Bank. 

1. Financial Planning

I was less nervous to take a pause in my business because of these positive financial situations:

* I had some money in a savings plan.
* I had a line of credit I could use if needed.
* I was being paid a monthly stipend from an international PR client where work was only done online (no need for appearances or personal meetings).
* My husband could carry expenses I used to help out with in our household.

Your financial advisor might suggest having an emergency fund (and I’ll ask Jodi to comment on this when she speaks):

A. What is an Emergency Fund?
An emergency fund is a separate savings or bank account used to cover or offset the expense of an unforeseen situation. It shouldn’t be considered a nest egg or calculated as part of a long-term savings plan for college tuition, a new car, or a vacation. Instead, this fund serves as a safety net, only to be tapped when financial crises occur.  

B. How much should you save?
While the size of your emergency fund will vary depending on your lifestyle, monthly costs, income, and dependents, the rule of thumb is to put away at least three to six months’ worth of expenses.  

C. Where should you put the money?
Emergency savings are best placed in an interest-earning bank account, such as a money market or interest-earning savings account that can be accessed easily without taxes or penalties.  


2. The Second Thing You Need to Survive a Pause is: Clear Communication With Clients

Ways I communicated with my members and vendors:

Formal Letter/Email to Each One at Beginning of Sabbatical
* Honest reasons
* Expected timeframe
* Ways they could communicate with me personally

Continued Weekly Wednesday Wisdoms
* To stay in touch with them without hosting events
* The WW were still business focused but periodically an update on my health to keep people informed

Personal Poolside Chats
* 2 Hour Personal Meetings for Them to Share with ME about their own needs, picking my brain or just the benefit of being near my pool.
* Chats were Personal and business in nature.
* A great way to connect one on one with customers 

Formal Letter/Email To Each One When Ending Sabbatical
* Update on health
* Reentrance into events and workplace
* Changes in services and updates in benefits


3. Your Reputation Will Help

If you have a good business and personal reputation, your vendors, clients, associates and colleagues will understand the need for taking a pause in your business. 

As much as you are concerned with the appearance and social conversation taking a sabbatical will have in the public arena, you need to keep in mind the reputation you have established with everyone important to your business and take that worry out of your head. 

Don’t let social gossip or your own unreasonable thoughts make you feel guilty about taking time away from your company.

If you are concerned about what your community or marketplace will say, use social media to share your status and be as honest as you feel you can be.

There is not perfect way to communicate private issues unless you feel the need to do so to help the public and people who care about you which includes your customers.

 

4. Readjust Priorities/Rework Your Business Plan

When you take 3-6 months off from your business, you have time to do a lot of thinking, re evaluating and re thinking your business priorities, services, benefits and plans. I took the first months to “just be” and relax and to see specialists far away and near and have more tests. Then towards the end, I started working on what changes I would make to my business to benefit my health better and yet still help my clients.

So plan on becoming aware that if you are taking a medical sabbatical specifically, you might find yourself adjusting your work load, duties and commitments or shifting them so you can set new priorities for your life and business. You might have time to rework your business plan depending on the sabbatical you are taking.

Give yourself time to relax though and then get back to work slowly when the time feels right.


5. Surround Yourself With People Who Support You Fully

As I mentioned above, I gave all my members the opportunity to visit me poolside with no judgment on members if they decided to come or not. I knew not everyone would want to come but I knew some would. Those visits were instrumental to my well being in the long run and made me want to get back to work.

I found a member who became a close friend as we both went through our “empowered wellness journeys” together. Just like in business, women can be your best friends, confidants and supporters sharing the ups and downs in work and in life. My private communication with this friend made me know others were on similar journeys and it was okay to take one.

Finally - I ended up spending more time with my siblings who were a great support to me – some of them teachers who came up and visited and exercised with me and gave me that extra moral support I needed.

So bottom line surround yourself with the right people when you need them.
 

5. FINALLY Become More Physically Active

I know not all women love physical activity but I am here to tell you if you are someone who doesn’t to reshape your thinking about it.

I come from parents who were PE Teachers and Coaches and grew up skiing, swimming and sailing by the time I was ten. Sports has been a constant in my life. I became a 2 mile a day runner in 2005 after my second son was born to lose weight and never stopped.

As a woman entrepreneur I found running took away my daily stress and gave me positive attitudes through difficulties. I stepped up my running in 2017 by running in the Boston Marathon with the one and only Kathrine Switzer and 100 other women to celebrate Kathrine’s gender barrier breaking moment in 1967 when she was a SU student and first female to officially enter and run in the Boston Marathon.

In 2013, I created the Women’s Athletic Network (WAN) to bring women entrepreneurs (and women) together to participate in together. WAN also support female athletes to help them with inequality issues like not having enough fans in the stands. Through my work, I met Billie Jean King last fall and am working on relaunching WAN next month to have an active committee and activities. 

The Bottom Line is any type of physical activity is good for women and I believe necessary for mental health and overall well being!

FINAL THOUGHT AND TAKE AWAY:

Life can give you a bunch of lemons, but if you turn those lemons into lemonade, you’ll recognize the sweetness from your difficulties. 

 


2019 Women's Marches
Jan 9, 2019

*** WOMEN'S MARCHES 2019 *** POSTED BY Pantsuit Nation New York

Greetings Pantsuiters,

Below is some information regarding the upcoming Women's Marches that are scheduled for January 19, 2019. If you are aware of any other marches that are happening on Jan. 19, please feel free to add them in the comments.

The first set of links are to the original Women's March that takes place in DC, across the country, and around the world.

The second set of links are to the Women's March Alliance, which has sponsored the March on NYC, and which is no longer affiliated with the original Women's March in DC.

The third set of links are to some of the news coverage regarding the marches, as well as some of the controversy that has been linked to the organizers of the DC Women's March.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Original DC Women's March: https://www.womensmarch.com/2019/

DC Women's March map of sister marches: https://actionnetwork.org/…/third-annual-womens-march-women…

New York marches:

Adirondack / Lewis: https://actionnetwork.org/eve…/adirondack-womens-march-2019…

Albany: https://actionnetwork.org/…/women-of-color-march-and-rally-…

Buffalo: https://actionnetwork.org/events/womens-march-buffalo-ny…

Chautauqua: https://actionnetwork.org/…/womans-march-of-chautauqua-coun…

Long Island: https://actionnetwork.org/…/third-annual-womens-march-women…

NYC: https://actionnetwork.org/…/womens-march-in-new-york-city-o…

Port Jervis: https://actionnetwork.org/events/womans-march-celebration…

Potsdam: https://actionnetwork.org/…/third-annual-womens-march-women…

Saratoga Springs: https://actionnetwork.org/…/womens-march-saratoga-springs-n…

Seneca Falls: https://actionnetwork.org/…/women-march-in-seneca-falls2019…

Syracuse: https://actionnetwork.org/events/womens-march-syracuse…

Utica: https://actionnetwork.org/events/womens-march-utica…

Woodstock: https://actionnetwork.org/e…/woodstock-ny-womens-march-2019…

++++++++++++++++++

Women's March Alliance (not affiliated with the DC Women's March):https://womensmarchalliance.org/

Women's March Alliance map of sister marches: http://womensmarch2019.com/

New York marches:

Hudson (I can't find a link to this one): 
7th Street Park
Hudson, NY

NYC: https://womensmarchalliance.org/2019-womens-march-on-nyc/

Seneca Falls: https://www.facebook.com/events/1901226479914678/

Woodstock:https://www.facebook.com/grou…/woodstocknywomensmarch/about/

++++++++++++++++++

News coverage regarding the original DC Women's March organization / sister marches

https://abcnews.go.com/beta-stor…/…/womens-march-2019/story…

https://www.thecut.com/…/womens-march-controversy-from-tabl…

https://dailynorthwestern.com/…/chicago-organizers-cancel-…/

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/…/…/US/womens-march-2019/story…


Success Strategies: Advancing Women in Business
Oct 29, 2018

These success strategies came from women entrepreneurs at the Women TIES Rochester luncheon in October. They identified three big challenges to their businesses and other women provided success strategies to help them. 

#1 Challenge - "I hate making sales calls although it could increase my revenue." 

Success Strategies: 
1. Just start by making only 15 minutes of phone calls. 
2. Believe you are "helping" the person you are calling. Share the benefits of what they will be buying. 
3. If you don't know how to start the phone call conversation, start by asking them about themselves or their company so you can hear their "pain" and then offer solutions based on what you are selling. 
4. Go for the Nos! Assume you will get a certain number of rejections so when you do, you are not surprised. The longer you go asking, the more "yes" you will get! So go for the no's understanding you will hear them. 
5. Send a handwritten note to anyone who takes  your call to show them you appreciate their time. You might impress someone enough after doing that to change their mind about doing work with you. 
6. Use Linked In to connect with people outside of your own first circle of influence. Reach out to your first circle of friends to link you to someone else in their circle so you can sell to them. (Think about a dart board - you are the center red mark, the next circle outside of it is your closest connections and the circle after that are potential referrals from your closest connections). 

#2 Challenge - "There is too much social media marketing connections not turning into sales"

Success Strategies: 
1. To be successful at using social media marketing (or really any marketing), you must track your statistics and results. You can find detailed statistics on who is visiting your page and staying longer or what they search by, but you need to look at and consult the statistics on your pages. 
2. Make sure you claim your Google Listing! I did it by doing this: 
* Type in Claim My Google Listing
* Hit "Manage Now" Button
* I had already claimed mine so I could find statistics once on the page - like how many views, how many searches, how many actions. But I never finished the page and added photos, etc. It was easy to do so I suggest doing it! 
3. Make sure you are using the right words for SEO searches. Consider how a customer would search for you and use those words. 
4. It is important to keep your customers engaged if you do social media marketing. 
5. Pay someone to maintain your social media marketing if you do not have the time. 

#3 Challenge -  "I find it hard to balance life and work demands at this point in my career." 

Success Strategies: 
1.It is critical for women entrepreneurs to make it a PRIORITY to take time off when it is needed. 
2. Women should list their "non-negtioable" priorities like: being home when my children arrive home from school; taking time off to visit my mother in the nursing home; taking time off for a medical sabbatical; changing business hours during the summer to enjoy my grandchildren, etc. 
3. Cut technology out while you are trying to balance your life and business. Unattach from getting emails and phone calls or checking social media marketing. 


5 PR Tips for Women Entrepreneurs
Mar 24, 2015

5 PR Tips For You and Your Business - By Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, President, Women TIES, LLC and Five Star Events


1. Practice 3 Creeds Every Day

* It Is About My Business, Not About My Ego
* If I Don’t Have Money to Advertise, I Must Promote
* Publicity Begets Publicity

2. Become a Press Release Student

* Know how to write a press release and if you don’t hire someone to write them
* Think about what you sell or expertise you have and consider ways it helps the media
* Submit press release/news quarterly
* Become friends with local media

3. Become a Writer

* Create a list of your top 5 expert topics
* Write a half page article on each topic (400 words) to get started
* Research publications for submission (trade, non-trade, business, regional, state, national)
* Once published, maintain a binder of your completed work and update your credentials
* Create and maintain a blog and then share your blog posts on social media

4. Become a Public Speaker

* Create a list of your top 5 expert topics
* Research speaking opportunities at 10 organizations (local, regional, national, trade, industry)
* Research local radio and television shows
* Send formal letters along with credentials, headshot, presentation topics
* Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up
* Once you speak, update your credentials with speaking engagements
* Join Women TIES Speaker’s Bureau

5. Cross Promote Others

* Establish relationships with complementary businesses
* Cross promotion can involve PR for both companies through websites, advertising,
event promotion, print materials, office displays, etc.
* Brainstorm with business associates on collaborative promotional ideas


BONUS PR TIP:

If you are a Women TIES member, make sure you use the 23 PR tools we offer year round to market and promote your business. We are a “secondary marketing” source for women entrepreneurs. We exist to help you brand your name in increase your sales potential. We also have a high SEO ranking so being “linked” with us through our website with your own profile will help your online marketing outreach too.
 


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