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Women TIES :: Women Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success
 

Wednesday Wisdom

Woman of the Week: Kim Pandina of Pandawear
Dec 5, 2018

Women TIES: What inspired you to become a woman entrepreneur? 

Kim: My father.  He was one to encourage you to try something new.  I wish he was here today to see my business and how much I am proud of what he taught me.   My business is two different things Lapidary & Jewelry designer as well as Bookkeeper.  The jewelry side grew out of my addiction to tools. 

Women TIES: What is the name of your business and its mission?  

Kim: Panda Wear is the name .  My Mission to help people feel beautiful.  

Women TIES:  Where did you find the inspiration and creativity to design the beautiful jewelry you sell through Panda Wear?  

Kim: I am inspired by nature.  I often walk or bike outside and the curve of a leaf or the shape of a branch inspires the shape of the wire pieces I make.  

Women TIES: Where do you find the gems and metal to put in your designs?  

Kim: I have collected gemstones in several places in the USA.  Many from NY state and recently from Maine, in a tourmaline quarry. When necessary I have bought gemstones to create piece with.  My wire is bought from US suppliers and it a green product made in the US.  I recycle my scraps.  Being a lapidary give me the freedom to create almost anything I can imagine.  Lapidary defined: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapidary

Women TIES: What has been the biggest challenge in business for you to date? How did you overcome it?  

Kim: Perception of the general public about a women in business.  I am proud of what I do and have had to walk away when people do not respect me as a business women.  Stand tall and never apologize for your passion in you business.  

Women TIES: What is the best compliment someone gave you about something you created for them?  

Kim: To see the happiness they have when the commission is complete.  My best customers are referral of my happy customers.  I have had some one come back after 6-8 years because they need someone who will work within their budget and not over promise or underdeliver.  

Women TIES:  What three business success strategies do you live by that could help another woman entrepreneur? 

1. Put everything on your calendar :  business, gym, personal, family events.  You will never double book if the item is on your calendar

2. Give back or as the popular phase Pay if Forward.  Another belief from my Father.  He did this everyday and I am proud to carry this tradition on in my business & life.  This includes supporting other women entrepreneurs.  

3 Perseverance and dedication to your passion will work. Remember the first time you ask may not be a yes. I have my work in several gift shops in NY state. You will not be told yes unless you ask the question.  

Women TIESIs there anything else you would like to share? 

Kim: My business is a retail jewelry designer as well as a wholesale lapidary and jewelry designer.  I sell to other jewelry designers all over the world.  They use my custom cut gemstones to create beautiful things  The other aspect of my business comes from my day job, Accounting professional and now bookkeeper for small business.  It arose out of necessity.  Very few people understand bookkeeping for small business.  It is one vital component for all entrepreneurs / small business  people.  If your do not mange your cash flow your business will fail. 

I would like my  work to become a family heirloom because of the special event it was bought Knowledge is power.  We only know what we have learned.  I have grown in my life & business by the people I have met &the journey I have taken.  When starting out I would not have seen where I am now.  Aim for the Moon and and settle for the stars.  .  

Women TISE: How can women learn more about you and your business or order from you. 

My website:  pandajewels.com

My email:  Wire@pandajewels.com

My phone:  585.747.8494

 


Mohawk Valley Challenges For Women In Business Success Strategies
Nov 30, 2018

On November 29, 2018, 15 fantastic women entrepreneurs and businesswomen gathered in Utica, New York for the Women TIES Mohawk Valley "Challenges for Women in Business" luncheon to discuss top challenges in business and solutions. Here they are to help anyone reading our website today. 

Challenge -  "I push myself too hard for little monetary or personal reward." 

Solution Success Strategies:

* Write down what you think is underlying the reason this is happening first. 
* Setting financial goals per day/month/quarter is a great way to be and stay motivated.
* Set a financial goal for a month or quarter and then work backwards figuring out how many appointments do you need to set and then "close" to hit your financial target. Once you know the amount of appointments to convert to sales, start making appointments with potential customers. The goal will keep you making sales calls. 
* Spend more time "targeting" the right potential customer if you haven't already. If you don't know your customer profile, spend time figuring it out by looking at and then listing qualities of the customer such as age, income, sex, social, etc. and then make connections with these people. 
* Create a one year sales or marketing projection. 
* Set 3 main sales/revenue goals and then under each goal, list three things you need to do to achieve them. Make "strategic action plans." 

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

Solution Success Strategies:

* Focus on what you can control in terms of life vs. work demands. Many women in the audience talked about having to adjust their personal vs. business goals when health issues arose, when their kids were young (and then again when they went to college), and as they handled other personal issues in their life. 
* Create boundaries around your work day in terms of hours of operation for customers and yourself and stick to them. Business can wait in most cases. Although some careers such as real estate, may work nights and weekends. 
* As a woman entrepreneuer, we have CONTROL over the hours we want to work. It should be communicated professionally to customers via website policies, on social media and in email communication. 
* If people in  your personal life find your entrepreneurial activities too time consuming, have a discussion with them and "train" them to accept and appreciate your work boundaries. 
* Say "NO" more often.
* Read the book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and implement some of their tactics.
 


Success Strategies: Major Brands Who Pivot
Nov 14, 2018

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.


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. 


Women in Sports Foundation Event Success Strategies
Oct 17, 2018

I met many fantastic female amateur athletes just trying to make it in the world of inequality like women entrepreneurs face in business and pay.  Today I share some observations from the Women's Sports Foundation Gala in New York City and the mentoring conference where I met amateur athletes moving on into professional sports or other careers. Whether women in athletics or business, we have many similarities. 

* Some of the biggest sports stars today are women. I met some four time Olympic champions, two time paraolympic champions, the first African American football team owner and more. You know what, if I mentioned their names you probably don't know their names and yet they have accomplished some of the biggest feats for American women. Why haven't you heard about them? Like most media situations, men are the focus on sports and business pages. Men are still more "newsworthy" than women. #inequality

* Female professional sports stars - except for tennis players - receive less money than men for being equally talanted and performing the same on the court or field. There is pay inequality in most sports pay in the United States - but not so overseas. Why do WNBA stars have shorter season and then go to Japan to play in their summer leagues? They make more money! #payinequality exists

* Female athletes who become leaders of their own nonprofit or profit companies to advance their sport or help upcoming female players, fight for funding. Finding people to invest in a women's sports entity is much harder than for a man's. Women entrepreneurs face the same issues when it comes to finding investors for their companies. #unfair

So what can the "every day woman" do to support female athletes?

1. The biggest thing is to attend events, bring other women with you and fill those stands. Until there is a fuller audience, advertisers won't invest in advertisments which help pay female athletes a portion of their pay.  

2. Fund organization like DreamBig! and the Women's Sports Foundation who have programs and fundraising events aimed at helping girls get into and stay in sports. The more female athletes we have coming up the ranks, the more important investors will feel about women's sports. This is like Women TIES business philosphy of putting your money in the hands, bank accounts or check books of women first and foremost to strengthen our economic power. 

3. Encourage young girls, highschool female athletes, and collegiate women to get into and stay in sports. Every athlete I talked to told me how empowering sports is for their confidence after sports is over.  We need women supporting women and girls in sports to make the world more pink and powerful. 

To find out more about the Women's Sports Foundation programs, go to their website at www.womenssportsfoundation.org. 

 



 


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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