5 Simple Ways To Build Customer Relations

Customer-RelationsAs a business owner in any industry, one of your primary goals should be to build strong relationships with your clients so that they keep coming back. It’s much more cost effective to market to existing clients and referral business than it is to market to new prospects. Money can buy you advertising space, postcards, and spots on the radio, but it can’t buy you strong customer relations. If you’re looking for an effective way to drive your business with strong relationships, here are 5 ideas that you should try.

1. Don’t Forget the Importance of Networking

Networking can include anything from participating in a small business referral network to meeting strangers in line at the store and giving these people your card. Networking doesn’t cost money and is one of the most effective ways to build customer relations. When you network with other business owners, customers, and prospects, you’re keeping your brand in the back of their mind. As long as you make a positive impression, people in your network are more likely to call you when they have a need over the competition.

2. Try Affordable Marketing Techniques

If you want positive relationships, your marketing list will be far more receptive to your message if they see you as an expert. For example, as a dentist there’s a number of cost effective ways to show that you know your industry to a widespread audience. While email marketing might not work for everyone, if you have a list of clients and genuine prospects who want to hear what you have to say, start an email marketing campaign. Enter email addresses in your Mac dentist software, send newsletters, build confidence, stay on the clients’ minds.

3. Communicate Often

While quality is important, quantity is important as well when you’re building relationships. Don’t forget the importance of following up after you communicate with a client or customer. Send 123 Postcards to tell your contacts you enjoyed your meeting and you can reinforce who you are and what business you represent.

4. Don’t Forget About Loyal Customers

You might be so focused on marketing to new clients that you completely forget about your customers who have stayed with you from the start. When your customers tell you how great you are, don’t forget to ask them for referrals. Letting them know you’ll take care of their friends and family as good as you take care of them will certainly get you more referrals.

5. Rewarding Your Customers for Retention

Customers love being rewarded for their continued business. The reward can be anything from a discount or a gift card, to a promotional gift. This shows your customer that you appreciate them and will also payoff for you in the long run in the form of increased retention.

When it comes to running a business you need to focus on your relationships. Take a step back, assess your tactics, and determine whether or not you’ve made relationships a priority. If you haven’t start nurturing the relationships you have so that you can build new relationships and retain old customers.

Feature Interview: Marita Vasquez

Juan Mejia bacaI am currently living in Chiclayo, Peru, and working at some local schools in the area. I’ve been learning so much about the culture, the people, the food (the food is so good!), and I’ve been able to talk with some amazing individuals.

I have been extremely impressed by the number of women working in education here. The majority of primary school teachers are women, and there are a good percentage working at the university level as well. I sat down with Martia Vasquez, the Director of the School of Education at the private university of Juan Mejia Baca, to talk about her path as well as the state of women in business. She is an amazing person and I was so impressed by what she has accomplished in her life and the example she leads for everyone around her:

Tell me a little about yourself and what you do:

Well, I am a professional woman, and a fighter. I am continually preparing and forming myself in all areas of my life.

Where did you study and what did you study?

I studied at the National University Pedro Ruiz Gallo and I have also studied at Heart. I have two professions, I teach chemistry methodology, it was my first profession. Then I studied nursing. Apart from that I have a master’s degree in teaching and research and a doctorate in science education and a doctorate in health sciences.

What occupations have you had in your life?

Apart from all that I have studied, the first profession that I had was a secretary, a cooperative when I was 17. Then I was a professor of secondary education for 7 years. Then I worked one year as a staff nurse in a small town called Llanca Lambayeque.

Since then I have taught in a university since 1994 and in a nursing faculty and I have nearly 20 years of service. I worked there for almost six years. As a university teacher one of  the most satisfying projects I had was being a research head at a central office. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to get training, and opportunities to learn for research.

And now I’m here at Juan Mejia Baca, where they have opened doors for me to apply to all who believe. I am a teacher in the area of ​​scientific research and director of education careers. I am also in charge of the psychology department and president of the self-evaluation condition quality here at the university.

Have you always wanted to work in education?

In the beginning no, it was almost incidental. I studied nursing and really wanted to work with the health sciences. But because of education, I have had many personal and professional rewards. It has served me as a person and as a professional. It’s made me happy.

I try to be an example as a teacher. I also worry a lot about the training of future teachers.

Do the majority of women in Peru have careers? If so, what types of careers do they have?

No most don’t really have one. If we talk about the town and the coast, a large percentage of women have formal training in professions. But if we talk about the jungle, the women there have discriminate opportunities. The rural area also.

The woman is the center of home and she is who will raise the children and all that they know. Most women end up in professions that have to do with service, like education and health. Here in Peru, a large percentage of teachers are women. In preschool, primary, and secondary. Then there are psychologists, nurses, but generally the lot of women have service professions.

What has been a struggle in getting to where you are today?

I think all things in life are a challenge. The fact that I’m a woman, although I’ve had luck and I myself made strides, I’m still finding myself. But, I’ve always know I could do whatever I wanted. I’m a very lucky person, my mentors that I had were amazing. They trusted me and believed in the qualities I had.

What is your favorite part of your job now?

It gives me such satisfaction when someone comes to check in with me and have a consultation and they come out stronger. They don’t always have to be professional consultations but also personal consultations. When it comes to talking I like to listen and help people make decisions that will impact their lives.

What is one piece of advice you can give to women wanting to have a career here in Peru?

First they have to be on top of things that are happening in the world. Also, you don’t stop learning at a certain age, life is constantly learning. Know what’s going on in the world to see what new aspects in our careers we can strengthen. I have had the luck to find work faster and with with no offer from the place where I work, but that’s because I’m ready with a few changes and ready for what’s coming.

Virtual tutorials are a great way to teach yourself new skills. I look up things that don’t necessarily have to do with my area, but they are things that I am interested in. We have a lot of resources here for eco tourism so I’m learning about that industry.

This isn’t something that just women can do, everyone can. But if there’s a woman who is having difficulty, just make sure and be preparing yourself for when opportunities come along.

 

 

 

 

How to Increase the Productivity of Your Business? Here are Some Tips

Productivity2If your wondering how to increase the productivity of your business, get in line! These days, it seems like everyone is short on time and no one has the time to get it all done! Business owners have it particularly hard because they not only have to complete the work of an employee, they also have to spend hours each week managing and running the business.

As a business owner, any little step that can increase productivity and eliminate time wasters is important. A few minutes saved here and there can really add up and can mean the difference between getting a break at the end of the week and working constantly! Try these tips to increase the productivity of yourself, employees, and your entire business!

Create a schedule

If you don’t have a schedule, you are constantly in survival mode. In survival mode, only the most important things get done every day. If you have a schedule in place, you can decide when to do certain tasks so you don’t end up running around like a chicken with its head cut off. You can create your own personal schedule and also create schedules for employees.

Set goals

Goals are essential to the management of a business. Without goals, you will have a similar problem to the issue above. Goals give you a frame of reference and help you plan how to get to where you want to be. Goals will help you determine what to place on your schedule and how to divide tasks between employees.

Divide tasks

You can’t do everything yourself. One problem that many business owners face is trying to do it all themselves. It may be cheaper to do it yourself, but you will sacrifice in other ways, such as time with your family or your personal health. You can increase your overall productivity by assigning the most challenging tasks to yourself and assigning easier tasks to others. If someone else can do it, let them!

Manage efficiently

You can’t increase productivity without managing efficiently. One problem that many business owners have is the issue of too many different things to watch at one time. You have to keep track of customers, employees, HR, accounting, marketing, and a variety of other aspects of your business. Each of these sections probably has their own reporting system and log-in info. It can be challenging to have enough time to manage all of these areas efficiently. This is where productivity managing software programs can help. Programs like Domo help you view all of your important information from one easy to use dashboard. This will increase your productivity by making it easy to see what is going on in your business.

Increasing productivity will not happen over night. It will take work on your part and the part of your employees. However, if you actively work toward managing your business with productivity in mind, you will start to see results that will help your business grow and improve in size, efficiency, and profits.

Writer Biography

This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon. Her interests are Personal Development, Parenting and Health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. 

 

80 percent women on Pinterest, is Google+ the gold mine?

google+While Facebook and Twitter have dominated the social space for long, Pinterest and Google+ still have managed to gain attention from social media users. The user base on both these platforms continue to grow. Inside Network’s AppData results revealed that Pinterest surpassed 10 million unique visitors in just 9 months; a figure any standalone site in U.S hasn’t been able to achieve before.

Google+ also continues to grow by leaps and bounds, especially after Google integrated the network with Google properties such as Google Search, making it an important resource for search engine optimization.

However, there’s a difference between the user base on Pinterest and those who use Google+; Pinterest is dominated by women. ComScore’s report in 2012 revealed 80 percent of the users on the platform were females. The brands pinned and repined are mostly female-oriented. Repinly, a website that tracks Pinterest activity, informs that top 10 pinners on Pinterest are women.

So with all the female attention going towards Pinterest, there is hardly any thought given to Google+. The platform, therefore, remains untapped for women.

Talking from personal experience, I’ve been active on Google+ and Pinterest since 2012. Although I managed to get a following on Pinterest, what Google+ has given me is unbelievable, and I tip it as a gold mine for the ladies.

Here are top 5 reasons why women shouldn’t let Google+ go unnoticed:

  1. 1.     Referral Traffic

I’ve advertised on Facebook for a while now, and unless I pay to promote a post within my own community, it’s hardly sending any referral traffic to my website. Twitter has also disappointed, although I do believe it requires more effort than I am putting in at the moment. Pinterest has sent me traffic whenever my pin gets repined by a follower; not an impressive figure.

Google+, on the other hand, has impressed me in terms of referral traffic. I’ve shared some posts on smartphone apps  in the communities present over there, and it has sent me a large number of visitors. It’s also tops the traffic referral list on my website, a spot usually dominated by search engine traffic.

  1. 2.     Interaction

Users of Google+ do interact with you. They’ll notice what you’re doing, and you don’t have to pay Google to promote your posts, and what you share won’t get lost in a stream that’s dominated by posts from popular figures like female celebrities and sportswomen.
I’ve managed to grab a lot of attention on Google+ within a short span of time. Not a single day has passed till now when the post I shared went unnoticed. Someone always leaves a comment or a +1 on the shared content.

  1. 3.     It’s good for search engine optimization

Women who’re into online marketing, social media, blogging or any other venture may not be aware that Google+ offers benefits when it comes to search engine optimization. Since Google linked the platform with Google Search, it can be used as a devised marketing tool for organic search. Google + profile picture also appears in the search snippet, and search engine readers eventually start recognizing the face.

Furthermore, the posts you’ll share on Google+ will appear to those who’ve added you in their circles, provided if it’s relevant to query or interest they’re searching for. This means if you can manage to build a huge following on the platform, there would be a lot of search engine juice passed to your website. Those top 10 female pinners on Pinterest with 5 million followers can do much more if they were on Google+ with the same number of followers.

  1. 4.     People are really knowledgeable

Google+ is going to teach you a lot. The user base consists of people who are knowledgeable. They’ll catch you instantly if you’re out there just with the sole intention of selling something or presenting something to them which is a scam.

When you’re promoting your brand the right way on Google+, you’ll be tested; asked questions, compared to other brands etc., but the users also appreciate your efforts. Once you get to know them, they’ll engage with you, share your brand, recommend your shared posts on Google+ to their own circles and help you out.

  1. 5.     Conversions

Google+ is still untapped, especially by females. However, they’re slowly starting to recognize the potential and the user base consisting of women is growing. The conversions from Google+ for my website have been higher than any other platform.

There are some great communities in Google+ that can be used to target people based on interest, and new communities consisting of female oriented brands are also being introduced. It’s a converting bandwagon to jump on to at the right time.

There’s a looming opportunity to embrace Google+ and increase visibility before the competition increases. Do you consider Google+ as a gold mine? Feel free to leave your thoughts.

 

Author Bio

Mellisa Burke is the marketing and content manager of International Reviews. She likes to explore the world of social media and thinks it’s better than watching movies. You can connect with her on Google+.

5 Simple Tips on Giving the Best Business Speech Possible

Business speech
If you have been asked to give a speech to your business colleagues, you may be filled with pride or terror—or both at the same time. Few things rival the feeling of standing up in front of your peers and giving a presentation, and many people refuse to do so out of fear or their belief that they will embarrass themselves.

While giving a speech is certainly an art form that becomes easier and less nerve wracking with practice, you can employ some simple tips now to make your speech interesting and on-topic. Giving a speech does not have to be difficult; if you plan well and use time-honored strategies to engage your audience, you’ll be wowing your crowds in no time.

Will Anyone Want To Listen To Me?

Business speeches are necessary. You would not be asked to speak on a subject if there were not a need for your skills. Therefore, even though your colleagues may not be overjoyed to be there, they still expect to hear solid, helpful material. Once you convince them that they will, most people will pay close attention to learn something that they did not know from your speech.

What Are the Components of a Great Speech?

You will want to organize your speech into sections: an opening, a middle, and a strong close. Each of these sections should be clearly identifiable by their characteristics. The most important parts of your speech are actually the opening and the close, when attention is at its greatest. Here are four tips for boosting the impact of the opening and close of your speech.

1) Open with an attention-getter.

The use of a tasteful joke, a bold statement, or a call to action gets your audience’s attention and lets them know that you mean business. A strong opening can also give you confidence; when you see that your audience is interested, you gain momentum and become even more involved in your speech.

2) Introduce yourself.

Think about times when you have listened to someone else speak. Most likely, you paid attention because you knew the person understood his or her subject matter or was an expert in the field. While you do not want to brag, it is important for your audience to respect you and believe you are knowledgeable about your subject. Open with a brief statement about why this topic matters to you and about the work you have done on the subject in the past.

3) Continue the conversation.

While it may take a little of your time, offering your audience a chance to ask questions or to meet you after the presentation makes them feel connected. Instead of a monologue, aim for a dialogue in which other people’s voices are heard at the end of your speech. This will cause your audience to form a bond with you, and may even teach you something about your own topic. Further, this is a great opportunity to clarify anything that was unclear from your speech.

4) End with a power close.

Nothing closes a speech better than a short summary followed by “thank you.” After all, the audience has given you their time and attention, so it is only polite to thank them for that. Further, a strong finish lets your audience know the presentation is concluded and gives a feeling of closure to the event.

5) Adjust your surroundings.

Have you ever noticed your mood changing when you’re either hot or cold, hungry or tired? Our moods have a tendency to swing quite a bit, even when we’re not even aware of the reasoning behind them. This is why you should do your best to control your surroundings, to help keep your audience as comfortable as possible

This includes little details like lighting, stage props and the temperature of the room you’ll be presenting in. Finding a universal temperature that’s comfortable is a great first step in the process. Aiming for a room temperature of between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for optimal comfort.

Also, make sure to have the building set the AC temperature at least an hour before your speech, so the room has time to adjust. Asking questions a few days before your speech is even better, since they may need to have an AC repair company out if anything isn’t working correctly.

By following these simple rules and setting up your environment for success, you can make your speech interesting, entertaining and informative and give your work colleagues something valuable in exchange for their time and attention – good luck!

About the Author: Jen McCarthy is a freelance speech and business researcher – overall, she really enjoys the art and craft of speech and research. Prior to her latest business speaking event, she secured emergency AC Repair Houston services to ensure the comfort for her guests, and felt that it made a significant difference in her presentation.

 

Do women business leaders face unfair criticism?

Women in businessWhen Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer banned working from home there was outrage. An internal business decision was reported internationally, and many column inches were dedicated to the move. And yet, as this Huffington Post article points out, when male CEOs make similar decisions it rarely makes the news.

Some people justified the criticism levied at Mayer arguing that her decision was hypocritical, as she allegedly has a cot in her office but is preventing other working mothers from spending time with their children. Even if this is true, how many men have made equally hypocritical decisions, for example banning flexible working while finishing early on Friday themselves for a round of golf? Additionally, few people have pointed out that Mayer was recruited as CEO of Yahoo to improve the company’s profitability (which she seems to be succeeding at), not to improve working conditions for parents.

The reality is that female CEOs are not only expected to improve the company’s profitability, but also to become examples of how to juggle motherhood with demanding careers. How often are successful businesswomen asked how they juggle their home life with their work compared to men? It is almost as though society expects these women to come up with a way that will enable all women to have fulfilling careers together with a committed family life, whereas instead they are probably just muddling through the best they can like everyone else.

Perhaps the problem is that many women CEOs seem to possess superhuman capabilities that normal women (and men) cannot possibly hope to emulate. Mayer herself has admitted to frequently pulling all-nighters on top of a day at the office, especially at the beginning of her career. This is just one example, but it is not unusual to hear of female CEOs being more driven and committed than their male counterparts. On top of this they expect their employees to work just as hard, which along with the fact that the ‘masculine’ traits that are often needed to get to a leadership position are usually seen as socially unacceptable in women, and results in females being judged as difficult to work for.

It is not just how they operate within the business that top businesswomen face criticism, instead they can expect scrutiny from the clothes they wear to how much maternity leave they take. The latter is a favourite amongst the media, as too much and they are not fit to rule while too little and they are letting down working mums everywhere. This is not just relegated to business, female politicians are often blasted for the amount of maternity leave they take. When Rachida Dati was France’s Justice Minister there were countless articles criticising the fact that she took less than a week of maternity leave. Yet we rarely hear about whether or not men even take their paternity leave, and no one wonders how Barrack Obama juggles running the world’s most powerful country with being a dad.

Perhaps because they are more in the public eye than businesswomen, but female politicians seem to face more scrutiny. Together with constant belittling articles about what they wear and how they look, there is also an undercurrent of misogyny and sexism levelled against many Western female politicians. In France sexism in politics was reportedly so bad that politicians were given anti-sexism lessons, while when Australia’s Prime Minster Julia Gillard made a speech against the misogynist attacks she frequently received, the video went viral.

Although it is tempting to label the criticism female leaders face as sexist and society’s double-standards, the reasons behind the criticism are arguably more complicated. On the one hand, women in positions of power and leadership are going against what has been the norm of predominately male-rule in the West for nearly two thousand years. But, the fact that there are still so few women in these positions also means that they face more scrutiny than their male counterparts.

Women leaders are still seen as the ones breaking down barriers for other women and as such are being held up as examples for others to follow. But, hopefully as more companies invest in recruiting the best employees available and managing their talent so that both women and men can reach their full potential, female leaders will become more common and will face less scrutiny as a result.

Written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger who has many years’ experience writing on business topics.

 

The Disparity of Women in STEM Jobs

gender disparity STEMWe like to pretend that gender inequality in the work place is only an issue that the cast of Mad Men have to deal with. While things have gotten much better since the 1950s, there is still a long way to go – especially in certain industries. STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are home to the fasted growing job markets in the world, and women are getting left in the dust when it comes to filling these positions. Personally, I don’t think this is an issue within the STEM industries, but an issue with gender roles that starts at an early age.

Media Portrayal of Women and Men

It’s old hat by this point, but media plays a profound role in how people view each other as well as themselves. Studies have shown that everyone is biased, even if they think they are well rounded. When it comes to race, people across the board struggle to associate minorities with good traits; when gender gets studied, people (including women) have a hard time associating success with women.  So let’s apply this to STEM jobs.

The only strong female character that embodies that geeky persona (that I can think of) is Abby from NCIS, and even she is still somewhat of a goth sexpot. The stereotype has shifted from weak rolled women, to powerful and successful women characters like Mackenzie Allen in Commander in Chief, Sydney Bristow in Alias, and Max Guevara in Dark Angel just to name a few. These strong female leads are then paired up with their token male nerds who are never lacking glasses, collared shirts, and the occasional sweater vest. Even the “sexiest man alive,” Bradley Cooper, played this stereotype in Alias with his character Will Tippen.

This stigma of putting women in powerful roles and men in the nerdy ones has had real world consequences. There are more women than ever going to law schools and climbing the corporate ladders in managerial positions, but there is a stagnant number going into STEM jobs.

Breaking Down the Numbers

The U.S. Department of Commerce released this study in 2009 that documents the growth in STEM jobs over nine years and compares genders. You can see the numbers broken down in this table…

As you can see by looking at the percent of female workers in each area of STEM jobs, the growth was negligible, stagnant, or even reversed. This goes against other trends such as women accounting for half of the work force and making up for the majority of college graduates. Even so, with women making up the majority of college graduates, women only make up 20% of the computer science degrees. While you don’t need a computer science degree to go into a STEM job, this disparity mirrors the one in the job market and it highlights the bigger problem referenced above. There are simply very few women, comparatively, actively looking for STEM jobs.

It’s not a matter of consciously sexist employers throughout the industry, there are just no women applying for the positions that are becoming available. For this to change, we need to see a shift in how society views the nerds among us. More girls need to go to hacker camps and be shown that it’s okay for girls to be computer nerds to.

Thomas McMahon majored in Creative Writing, but managed to get a job in the STEM industry anyway with Page One Power, a link building company that also offers link building training.

Switching Careers? Five Things You Need to Know First

bigstock-Career-Path-Sign-8832373Switching careers can provide a new start for someone who is unhappy in a current position. It is also a necessity for individuals who are working in industries that are changing or slowly vanishing. Entering a new career field is not easy and requires a large amount of planning. Anyone who is changing careers should understand five points before starting the process.

5. Competition

There will be heavy competition for open jobs in nearly all industries. The only exceptions are highly specialized niche positions or constantly expanding areas like healthcare. Finding a first job within a new field of work will likely be difficult. Additionally, anyone who is new to a career will be starting from the bottom as one of the least qualified candidates in the field. This means that finding a job in the new industry could take time and might result in an entry-level or probationary position.

4. Credit Matters

Anyone who has been working in a single job for years might be unaware of some of the changes in hiring practices. It is becoming increasingly common for employers across a range of industries to check the credit of potential employees. This is sometimes done even when jobs do not involve the handling of personal financial information. One way to resolve this before changing careers is to seek the help of premier credit repair services. These services can help to remove mistakes and improve personal credit scores.

3. No Benefits

Changing careers sometimes means that it will be necessary to go for a certain period without benefits. Employers might not provide medical benefits until the end of a probationary period of 30 to 90 days. Similarly, retirement accounts and other benefits that might be familiar in an existing job could take months or longer to start. This could result in costly payments in order to keep personal benefits from a previous employer. It could also result in lapses in coverage and potential loss of some benefits related to savings and retirement accounts.

2. Every Career Involves Politics

Changing careers should be done for the right reasons. Nearly every type of job and every work environment will have some type of internal politics. The dynamics of a workplace do not change all that much even though the focus of the work is different. This is important to understand since some people attempt to change careers in order to avoid politics or office drama.

1. A Complete Change Takes Years

The most important point to understand is that it will take years to become established in a new career. This is true even for individuals who have taken the time to gain all of the education and certifications necessary before starting. Anyone switching careers should expect to spend several years gaining the experience and expertise necessary to become fully established within the new industry.

Tips for the Woman in Charge

womanworking_1It is undeniable that women have come a long way in the workplace.  Walk into any boardroom today and an increased number of women are sitting at the table.  Many are taking the lead at Fortune 500 companies while even greater numbers have become entrepreneurs, striking out on their own and successfully starting their own businesses.

Still, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Women face many obstacles in the workplace such as colleagues disrespecting and/or refusing to take a female executive seriously simply because she’s a woman.  Being aware of these potential obstacles allows us to better prepare for responding to them in the future.  The following is a list of tips for consideration when running a business from the female perspective:

  1. Be Ready to Face Discrimination.  Women business owners should be prepared to face discrimination and harassment from employees, from colleagues, business partners, clients and customers alike merely because they are women.  On the flip side, women employers should be sensitive to others and aim to create a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment and make sure that they implement and enforce zero tolerance policies for discrimination.  It is important to provide all employees and supervisors with training on how to identify and avoid issues of discrimination and harassment.  It is equally important to respond immediately to any discrimination or harassment complaints with a thorough investigation and corrective measures if needed.

 

  1. Realize Employees Have Lives Outside of Work.  Understanding that employees have obligations and responsibilities that extend beyond the workplace to spouses, parents, children and communities can go a long way.  Whatever personal path a women business owner has chosen, it is important that they are aware of family responsibility discrimination and how to avoid claims of unfair treatment based on caregiving responsibilities.  They also need to understand the state and federal laws that entitle employees to take leave and time off for family and medical leave, military leave, etc.

 

  1. Be Honest and Do Not Sugar Coat Things or Avoid Issues.  Many women feel the need to avoid conflict and “play nice in the sandbox”. Although this approach can lead to better collaboration, at times, it can be limiting in providing employees with necessary feedback for improvement. The women in charge should never be afraid to be candid in employee evaluations and performance reviews.  Women business owners should be honest with employees, including supervisors and managers who will set a tone for the organization and be held to higher standards of conduct in a leadership role.  If an issue arises, it should be dealt with head on.  To be a successful business owner, you need to take the reins and get the job done, even if it means that others disagree with you.

 

  1. Embrace Technology.  Women business owners should take their often superior communication and social skills and put them to use in the workplace, using technology to their advantage and to the advantage of their employees.  Employees can be connected and are able to give more to work when they are able to connect to the workplace in new and different ways.  With the rise of the internet and social media over the last decade, employees are more connected than ever.  Consider flexible scheduling and telecommuting options which will enable employees to work from home and on the road.  This can help create a positive work atmosphere and increase employee morale.  Also consider implementing a Bring Your Own Device Policy which will allow employees to use their own personal computers and smartphones to connect to the workplace while resulting in a cost savings for the employer.

 

  1. Do Not Be Afraid to Ask for Help.  Women business owners should not be afraid to reach out and consult with professionals especially when it comes to complicated issues such issues as immigration, health care, benefits, and payroll.  Such issues may require a little more experience and background that go beyond the scope of your talents and asking for help may end up saving you time and money.

 

 

 

Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs from Around the World

coco-chanel-style-620km093012Who inspires you? Many female entrepreneurs struggle to receive the same credit and accolades their male counterparts receive, even when they must meet the same challenges — and more. What does it take to leave home, move overseas, learn Spanish, and start a business out of nothing? In honor of Women’s History Month, here are some inspirational female entrepreneurs who overcame challenges and made their mark on history.

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel’s name is synonymous with fashion, and she has been credited with changing the way we think about women’s clothing. Chanel began designing hats in Paris in 1909, and came into her own when she realized that with the coming of World War I, women would need to break away from the traditional corsets and constricted clothing in favor of simpler, more practical styles.

Competitive, opportunistic, and ambitious, Chanel created a fashion empire out of nothing, and wove legend around herself to increase her cachet. Although Chanel died in 1971, her legacy lives on. She became the only female to appear on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Shazi Visram

Shazi Visram’s path to entrepreneurship began when she spoke to her friends about the difficulty of finding easy, fast, healthy food for their babies. Seeing a need and a niche to fill, Visram launched Happy Baby in 2003, focusing on natural, organic, healthy food for babies and children that busy mothers could fit into their schedules.

Now known as Happy Family Brands,Visram’s company has become a major name in premium baby food and children’s food in the United States. Happy Family is one of the fastest-growing companies in the US, ranked #2 by Inc. Magazine.

Visram has used her success to promote the causes of sustainability and childhood nutrition, and encourages other entrepreneurs to involve philanthropy as part of their business plans. In 2011, Visram made Inc. Magazine’s list of Top Female Entrepreneurs.

 Suze Orman

Chicago-born Suze Orman began her career as a waitress, then as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, and has since become a “powerhouse of personal finance,” with her own television show on CNBC and ten successful books on managing money.

Curiously, Orman did not set out to become an expert on personal finance. She studied social work at Berkeley before dropping out, and once dreamed of owning her own restaurant, and struggled with her own finances. Orman learned about investing from her failed attempt at owning a restaurant, and eventually became a broker for Merrill Lynch. Allegedly, she was told that the business world was not for women, and that she would be “gone in six months.”

After working for Merrill Lynch for several years, Orman resigned to found the Suze Orman Financial Group, where she not only acted as director until 1997, but published three books, including The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom.

 

In 2002, Orman launched The Suze Orman Show on CNBC, and has not only appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but writes a regular financial advice column for Oprah’s O Magazine and has produced a television miniseries for the OWN Network.

Anita Lo

Sometimes the most inspiration comes not from those who wildly succeed, but those who struggle with defeat and come back fighting. Anita Lo cultivated a love of French cuisine while visiting Paris as part of her French studies at Columbia. Lo chose to pursue her dream of becoming a master chef, and eventually got an internship at the famous Guy Savoy in Paris.

Lo went on to open two restaurants, Anissa(opened in 2000) and Bar Q (opened in 2008), but met with disaster in 2009 when she was forced to close Bar Q and a restaurant fire shut down Anissa for the better part of a year. Rather than quietly accept defeat, Lo remained undaunted. She appeared on the first season of Iron Chef America, competed against Chef Mario Batali, and won. Lo then went on to appear as the first female chef on Top Chef Masters.

About the Author:

Leslie Collins is a long-time writer for  Pimsleur Approach. She learned to speak Spanish through the program and enjoys traveling, coffee, discovering new cultures and hikes with her golden retriever.