As I write this, I have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old fighting for their dad’s attention as he’s just walked through the door. ‘Perfect timing to write this month’s topic’ I thought. I’m starting to change my mind.
From the outside, running your own business can look pretty amazing. You choose your own hours, you're doing what you love, you get interesting opportunities plus freedom and flexibility. And it is all of those things. But there's a down-side too.
I’m assuming that because you have your own business, you’re pretty good at something, right? Whether it’s service-based or perhaps a handmade product and many things in between, holding an event for your customers (potential or existing) is a great tool for business growth for many reasons. If you’re an expert in something, why not share it around? Teach your craft, show off your talent, help people.
As I sit here reading another article on the recently broken news story about the sexual harassment female fund seekers have faced in Silicon Valley, an ad for washing powder pops up. Fantastic. Just what I needed. One woman telling another woman how great this particular detergent is. Seriously? It's not remarketing, the last thing I would be looking at on another site is washing powder. How distracting.
Last November, I had a great idea. I would launch the inaugural Regional Business Women's Day on February 6th via a documentary about regional businesswomen while going on a 3,321 km road trip from Geelong to Townsville. Oh and taking 2 businesswomen, 2 babies and a video camera with me. All we needed was an automotive sponsor, accommodation in 8 locations, venues & speakers and to cover it with an $8000 crowd funding campaign. And we had 5 weeks to do it.
So many businesswomen talk to me about the challenges of business ownership, and one of the most common ones is what to do when you're stuck in a business slump. You know that feeling when you've got a bucketload of work to do but you just feel like sitting on the couch in your Uggs, eating chocolate and watching Netflix? Yeah, that one.
In a world of instant online connection, it’s easy to forget how important it is to connect with people offline too and for some businesses, meeting face-to-face is actually more effective.
It might sound obvious, but can you say you consistently offer amazing service to your customers? So many people focus on getting new business that often their current customers get neglected. So what can you do to ensure your existing buyers are engaged and happy?
Let’s start at the beginning. Now this is something so many people surprisingly seem to skip over. They may come up with a fantastic idea for a product or service but not be clear on who it’s for. You may know the problem you’re solving, but aren’t decided on who your target market actually is.
Most business owners struggle with time management, particularly if you’re throwing kids or a part time job, a partner or any sort of lifestyle into the mix! Different things will work for different people. But here are 3 tips which could make all the difference for you.
1. Time yourself
There’s a rule around working for 52 minutes and taking a break for 17 minutes which has proven to be the most productive way to get through your day. So set your timer to 52 minutes then take your 17 minute break. And make sure it’s a good one. Go for a quick walk, grab a bite to eat, read a few pages of that book you’ve been meaning to read.
2. Eat that frog!
Have you heard that expression before? It means do the tasks you despise most, first. Don’t avoid them and pop them on tomorrow’s to-do list. Just do them and get them out of the way. This then means you have the whole rest of the day to do the good stuff!
3. Create your own timetable
If you think multitasking is effective, it’s not. Let it go. Turn off all of your notifications (new mail, Facebook notifications, etc.). Then create a timetable and block out different parts of the day for various things i.e. social media, marketing, networking, bookkeeping. Stay focused and on track.
We have access to millions of people anytime and anywhere, with the ability to be connected to them online through a variety of platforms. But us humans want real, meaningful relationships offline too. We want to do business with people we feel we know. So how are you going to stand out and connect with your customers and build your community or tribe? It’s time to get to know your people.
t’s 8pm on International Women’s Day 2017. I’m sitting in near darkness as the sun sets on what’s been a beautiful and unusually hot day for March in Melbourne. Cross-legged on the couch, I have chocolate on my left and an icy cold beer on my right. My 2 kids are in bed, my partner out. I feel warmth radiating from my face and wonder if I should’ve applied more sunscreen today. I’m tired. Actually, I’m exhausted after a busy, challenging, sleep-deprived week, but fulfilled after a gorgeous afternoon on the beach with my friend and fellow entrepreneur Bridget, and our kids.
There are endless ways to build your business. The minute you stop believing that is the minute you’re giving up. Brainstorming and implementing ideas for growth should be scheduled into your (yes, already very busy) week. It should become a hobby, a mindset…a reflex. Always have an open mind to possibilities and opportunities and you will see them popping up before you.
If you’re looking at how to take your business or career to the next level, consider focusing on building your personal brand. This means coming out from the shadows of your business or growing your profile in the industry you work in. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field gives you:
Whether it’s a networking event, workshop or even a dinner party, the idea of having conversation with people you don’t know can be quite daunting. Here are 3 ways to make the most out of meeting new people and leaving a lasting impression.
On the 30th of January, I'm driving from Geelong to Townsville over 8 days with Bridget from Suburban Sandcastles and film maker Zoe from Pickford Media, for National Regional Businesswomen's Day February 6th. And yes, we're taking 2 babies under 1 with us. Why you ask? Um, yeah we're a little crazy. But also, we're really determined to reach more regional businesswomen. Not only reach them, but ensure they're connected with likeminded ladies doing the same in regional areas around Australia. We want to share their stories so that women who are contemplating becoming an entrepreneur or who are in the start up phase of business see that they can do it too. Regardless of where they live.
So you’ve setup a Facebook page for your business and you’ve invited all of your friends and family to like it. That’s done. Now what? Before you start obsessing over getting more likes and the fact that no one’s commenting on your posts except for your mum, ask yourself a few questions.
I spent the first few years of my childhood in suburban Melbourne then moved to the country when I was 8 years old.
We lived in a town called Maffra, population of 4000. It had one main strip of tired looking stores with faded displays in the windows but otherwise it was a somewhat pretty, oak tree lined street.
My parents bought a retail business selling children’s clothing and accessories which my mum managed while my dad worked as an engineer right across the road. I was young, but could tell when it had been a ‘quiet day.’
Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Oprah Winfrey live at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Truly magnificent in her glittering, sequinned pink frock, she captivated the audience with her presence before she even said a word.
When planning an event there are a number of things to take into consideration including the role social media can play leading up to the event, on the day and post event.
Social media has a role to play whether your event is online like a webinar or a blab or offline like a seminar or a conference.