I was going back through tips from Manta and thought this one was important to mention.
Manta Tip of the day:
If you have a website, you must pay attention to its performance and effectiveness–whether you like it or not. The prospect of calculating page views and unique visitors may seem intimidating, but Google Analytics is a free, easy-to-use tool that helps you decide if your message is getting across.
At the Canisius College Women’s Business Center, we use Google Analytics to comprehend the traffic to our website as well as using the Facebook insights to see what topics people are “liking” and talking about. These free tools can help you better understand your customer and the best ways to reach them. Why not use them!
I was looking through the older blog posts of Seth Godin and I stumbled upon a post about your customer. This is a thought provoking and important concept which we have previously discussed at the Canisius College Women’s Business Centers’ women with solutions series session ” A Customer for Life”.
Here it is:
Most partnerships don’t end up in court.
Most friendships don’t end in a fight.
Most customers don’t leave in a huff.
Instead, when one party feels underappreciated, or perhaps taken advantage of, she stops showing up as often. Stops investing. Begins to move on.
No, I’m not going to sue you. Yes, I’ll probably put my best efforts somewhere else.
Just because there are no firestorms on the porch doesn’t mean you’re doing okay. More likely, there are relationships out there that need more investment, quiet customers who are unhappy but not making a big deal out of it. They’re worth a lot more than the angry ones.
Blake, the project coordinator at the Canisius College Women’s Business Center, emailed me a link to this article from Kevin Potts about starting up a business. At first I thought it would be something generic that has been said millions of times, but it gave practical advice. Firstly, writing a business plan. Kevin mentioned, years [...]
Seth Godin explains, that managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.
Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.
We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.
Do you think managers want authority?
No, the 4Ps are not price, product, place and promotion. Those 4Ps are considered useless without having a marketing directive of building trust with a customer. The new 4Ps: passion,purpose, positioning and personality, according to John Jantsch, is about how a business is experienced not just what it sells.
Passion: Leading with passion is how you put yourself out there and do what you were meant to do.
Purpose: How a business defines why it does and what it does.
Positioning: Businesses lead with why and let those attracted to that why, create their own definition of what.
Personality: Using engaging characteristics as a vehicle to allow all who encounter the business to actually experience purpose.
What are your thoughts? Are these 4Ps essential to a business?
In consideration of Mother’s Day this weekend, we thought we’d have a little conversation with our working, business-owning, professional, and all-around rockstar moms. So on our Facebook page last week, we asked:
To the working mothers and mom-preneurs: how do you maintain your work-life balance?
What we found was that maybe this supposed balance doesn’t actually exist! So what’s the answer, then? How do these women manage to participate and be successful in both family and work life? Well, I’ll defer to the experts. This is what our friends and clients had to say:
This post on The Glass Hammer also acknowledged the mythical nature of this kind of balance, and the author, executive coach Ann Daly PhD, offered her strategies for “finding your focus” among both family and professional demands. A large part of that, she says, is “committing to being present in every moment, wherever you are,” echoing what Arlene had mentioned to us on Facebook.
Let’s continue the conversation here! What are your thoughts? If a true work-life balance doesn’t exist, how do you stay on track? Moms, how are able to fulfill both roles? Let us know in a comment below.
P.S.– A happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there from the ladies at the Women’s Business Center!
When Sir Edmund Hillary stood on top of Mt. Everest, he wasn’t alone. Beside him was a Sherpa mountaineer named Tenzing Norgay.
Women business owners and entrepreneurs: you don’t need to go it alone!
Being in business by yourself can sometimes be lonely and isolating. Perhaps you’re having issues and problems and you don’t feel comfortable sharing them with your employees. It’s also hard to know if your family and friends “sugarcoat” the feedback they give you.
Peer mentoring is a tool that many women business owners and professionals are starting to use to develop their businesses and strategies. With the guidance of a trained facilitator, a group of peers—often in similar stages of development—meet to exchange feedback, ideas, and concerns. It is an opportunity to benefit from mutual support and experience, to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes. What is it like going through a state certification process? How do you resolve employee disputes? A peer group not only guides you through your struggles, but can relate to them. This is what makes a group mentoring relationship quite different than a business advisory or coaching relationship: you are all in the same boat. Often times, peer mentoring groups also have an educational component (as is the case with the WBC Forum group), enabling members to expand their knowledge base on emerging business tools and management techniques.
In the 2010 report Roadmap to 2020: Fueling the Growth of Women’s Business Enterprise, Marsha Firestone, WPO President and Founder, asserts the value of this model. She says that “collaborative learning draws out the insight and wisdom of each individual participant, resulting in a mix of ideas that benefits the whole.”
What makes a good group:
The group should be comprised of women whose businesses do not compete with yours but are similar in size, revenues and other key characteristics. Some groups might be divided by similar industry, like for those in medical or legal fields, or maybe for those running established family businesses. Group dynamics and group energy are important, and can increase your determination and encourage you to achieve your goals. Openness and honesty is key. Firestone adds: “The effectiveness of the group is entirely dependent on the participants’ willingness to share. Only when people are open about discussing their finances and other sensitive issues will the group benefit the most.”
Benefits to you:
The group functions not only as a sounding board for your issues, but from the members’ collective experience, you gain insight that you would not have gotten from family members or friends, or even mentors. The bonds forged between members of the group are equally as important, and can lead to strategic alliances and future collaborations. And perhaps most importantly, the support of the peer group drives you as a business owner to action: an unspoken intention is not as powerful as an intention you share with a group of peers.
Being a member of a group can provide you with inspiration, ideas and motivation.
Recounting a conversation with an incredulous someone, he quotes:
“It’s like, how does anyone start their own business? How is it even possible? How do they deal with the crippling fear and harsh economic realities?”
But Godin counters, “How can you not do it?” He says:
The people who successfully start independent businesses (franchises, I think are a different thing) do it because we have no real choice in the matter. The voice in our heads won’t shut up until we discover if we’re right, if we can do it, if we can make something happen. This is an art, our art, and to leave it bottled up is a crime.
I think his point is meant to be motivational. But this is something we see at the Women’s Business Center every day, and perhaps even more so now that the nation and the Buffalo area has become entrenched in economic hardship. People are taking this opportunity – because of a lost job, or whatever it might be – to pursue a dream, to start the business they’ve always wanted to start, to explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship, to create their own job. And we’re here to encourage dreaming, and to support this personal and economic growth.
Tell me, how can you do it? Leave a comment.