Posted by Beverly on
June 22, 2009
If you’ve got a good product or business and a gift of gab, you should have no problem attracting customers. But the question here is, how often do you get repeat business from the same customer?
It’s one thing to sell lots of items but it’s also equally important to have customers who want to keep coming back. Why? Because exisitng customers are more profitable than finding new ones.
Once you make the sale, the business connection between you and your customer is just beginning. This is the time you spend on nurturing your relationship so that your customer will want to do more business with you and even provide referrals.
One of the things I recommend is to take a look at the successful business women around you and see what makes their customers attracted to them.
Remember this: a satisfied customer is more likely to be a loyal customer and a satisfied customer is a reflection of who YOU are as a woman in business.
Posted by Beverly on
May 3, 2009
One week ago actress Bea Arthur died at the age of 86.
While most of us remember her as Dorothy on the hit TV show The Golden Girls, members of my baby boomer generation recall her earlier role as Maude–on the show with the same name. Bea played a feisty, no-nonsense, wife, mother, grandmother and, let’s not forget, women’s libber. Little did I know back then that her portrayal of Maude would have a major impact on who I would become as a 50-something woman in business.
Did you know Bea got the role of Maude at the age of 50? Her characters of Maude and Dorothy were the brandings of a Baby Boomer Diva.
The objectives that a good brand will achieve:
- Deliver the message clearly
- Confirm your credibility
- Connect your target prospects emotionally
- Motivate the buyer (or in this case, the TV viewer)
The “Maude” character was a woman who always spoke her mind–sometimes to a fault. She also stood up for what she believed in and demonstrated that you can match wits with your husband and still keep things exciting in the bedroom.
The “Dorothy” character was a woman who was determined not to allow a little thing like aging and menopause stand in the way from continuing on her journey of living and loving life to its fullest.
Bea Arthur, meanwhile, was a woman who showed America that she was vintage like fine wine and getting better with time. She had talent and was a woman on the move and making a difference–much like the fine women of Boomer Diva Nation.
She, like the members of BDN, helped re-define what it means to be a TRUE DIVA: D-ivine, I-nspired, V-ivacious, A-nointed.
Thanks Bea for being a trendsetter!
Posted by Beverly on
March 27, 2009
One Sunday in church my Pastor asked a question: “Do you want to survive or thrive?” It got me to thinking about my life and my business.
As a baby boomer woman in business, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s never too late to set goals. So what if you didn’t achieve your original goals when you were in your tween years. If you’re reading this, it means you’re not dead yet. It means you still have a purpose and a mission to be accomplished. Just because you may have reached the “grandma age” doesn’t mean you have to cancel out those things you didn’t get around to doing. You just didn’t get around to doing them YET. As long as you’re still breathing, you still have time.
As baby boomers and beyond, we’ve been given more opportunities to accomplish the goals and dreams we’ve set for ourselves. So why can’t we take advantage of them right now?
Here are some of my tips for setting and accomplishing your goals at midlife:
1) Make each goal something you really want, not something that just sounds good: The truth of the matter is, you’re not getting any younger so you want to make what you do, from here on, mean something. But don’t do it just because. Some people like to play “follow the leader.” Because Mary wrote a book and it was a best seller, you think you can too but maybe that’s not really your calling and maybe your book won’t sell as well. Concentrate on doing something you are passionate about. Trust me, you’ll do a much better job at reaching your goal!
2) Don’t let your goal conflict with other goals: Your goal may be to purchase a million dollar home but if your salary is only $50,000 what sense does that really make? You should first focus on how you can increase your income or come up with creative ways to do some million dollar improvements on your current home.
3) Develop goals for both personal and business: If you have big dreams for your business, why not have equally important goals for your personal life. All work and no play can create something called S-T-R-E-S-S and stress kills. Develop a plan to ensure that you will spend quality “me” time to give yourself an opportunity to be renewed in mind, body and spirit. That way you’ll have more energy to continue pursuing your business goals.
4) Set high goals: The higher the goal means you’ll work HARDER but the REWARD will be that much sweeter!
5) Create a Vision Board: How do you know where you’re going if you can’t SEE where you’re going? Habakkuk 2:2 in the Bible says: “And the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets…” My vision board hangs in my bedroom. It is one of the first things I see every morning. It reminds me of the goals I’ve set and what I must do in order to achieve those goals. A vision board keeps you focused.
Even as a baby boomer, who’s also a wife and grandmother, I still believe in dreams and I’m a witness that dreams still can come true!
Posted by Beverly on
February 7, 2009
This week I reached a milestone when I picked up my 800th follower on Twitter. Now for me, that’s a big deal because my initial goal was to have 100 when I first signed on several months ago. One hundred friends seemed like a manageable number. Although I never expected all of them to be on Twitter at the same time, I felt confident I could follow the different conversations and offer valuable feedback as necessary.
But here I am now with all of these followers and I have to admit, some of them have fallen by the wayside. That, to me, is the danger of twitter networking. What good is it to have lots of connections if you aren’t creating some type of win-win situation for each other?
As a woman in business, I definitely see the value of a site like twitter. Case in point: Forty-eight hours ago, I promoted a Valentine’s Special for my book, Whatever! A Baby Boomer’s Journey Into Middle Age. As of this writing, I’ve sold 36 copies. My goal is 100.
Why have I been able to make these sales? I believe it’s because I provide a balance in my business and social networking. I’m not constantly on the site trying to sell anything. As a matter of fact, the Valentine’s Promotion is the first thing I’ve actually attempted to sell because I spend the majority of my time on the site promoting my blogs. I also make it a point to promote others through “re-tweeting” and am always looking for guests for my radio shows.
Here are some of my reasons why I believe twitter networking can do more harm than good:
1) Too Over Zealous: I have seen some Twitterers who have literally thousands of connections. I wonder why. What is the point? How can one effectively communicate with that many followers—unless all they’re doing is promoting their business and trying to sell their products or services. It’s a turn off for me—especially when you don’t give me the respect or courtesy of responding to a simple question or request I may put out—like, “Do you mind stopping by my blog and leaving a comment?”
You can be assertive in getting your message out there to the masses but if you never acknowledge your followers on a level they can identify with, then you’re really defeating your purpose for being on Twitter.
2) Connecting with the WRONG people: When I first joined Twitter, I was told I should follow everyone who follows me. That was considered common courtesy. I tried that for awhile but soon discovered that everyone who was following me wasn’t necessarily interested in me—but rather in what they could sell me. That was a turn-off!
Before you decide to follow a follower, take a few minutes and check out their profile and the website attached. See what they’re all about and then determine if that’s the kind of person you really want to be connected with. While I am a firm believer that you can learn something from everybody, I also believe not everyone is necessarily meant to be connected. I’ve even gone as far as to ask some followers why they chose to do so.
3) Alienate some connections: Having too many followers may cause you to alienate some connections. At any given time, there are dozens upon dozens of conversations going on and some conversations get overlooked.
I’ve also noticed there are some people who only respond to certain other people so no matter what you put out there, you just won’t get a response them. Are those people you really want to be associated with?
5) Inactivity: Every now and then it’ a good idea to check and see what your followers are up to. When was the last time they were on Twitter? If their last post was two weeks ago or longer, maybe you may want to drop them or at least send a message to see if everything is OK with them. Their response (or lack thereof) will help you determine whether you should have one less connection.
5) Twitter isn’t for everybody: Unless you’re willing to make an earnest effort to be engaging with your followers, offer more than your product or service, and be able to keep up with the fast pace, then maybe you should try another social networking site.
Once you’ve clearly determined why you want to be on Twitter and who you’re trying to reach, then actively seek those people out. There are some people there who are strictly about business and that’s OK if that’s where you’re coming from. But, on the other hand, don’t expect those same people to ask you about your day or share their dinner menu with you.
Posted by Beverly on
January 1, 2009
If you’re a woman in business, you probably know how important it is to properly manage your assets, especially now that tax season is upon us. Managing your assets can be fairly easy, no matter what type of assets you’re talking about. This includes cash as an asset and physical assets as well.
The first rule to follow is to have good bookkeeping and accounting practices in place. In the long run doing this will save you both time and money. No matter how insignificant the amounts may seem, be sure to account for every penny that comes in and goes out. Even a few cents here and there can end up adding up to hundreds of dollars.
Following of a good accounting practice and asset management is extremely important, especially when you are required to submit tax to the government. There are numerous cases where small issues that appear insignificant come under the eye of scrutiny and can haunt you for years with the IRS on your back.
Exact and detailed accounting books will also help you should you need to apply for a loan or a small business grant. They will need to know all of your assets and if you have all the proper documentation, and books with accurate records, you will be able to easily prove you are a reliable member of the business community.
Often, small business owners tend to overlook certain items, not realizing that they are actually assets. Anything worth money, or that can be sold, is considered an asset. For instance, most of us know that our computer equipment is an asset, but we may overlook the desk or even the chair we’re sitting on. Take a look around and see if you’ve missed any assets in your reconciliation.
The concept of depreciation is important to understand when managing physical assets. For example a brand new car worth $18,000, depreciates in value as soon as it is driven off the lot. What we pay for a brand new item is certainly not the price we can expect to sell it five years later. For a car, factors such as mileage, wear and tear, and any accidents also play a role in the depreciation. While this rule of depreciation applies to all physical assets, property is an exception which may in fact appreciate in a few areas.
Office equipment and most other equipment purchased for a small business does follow the deprecation rule and must be taken into account when you are recording your assets.
The main point to remember that asset management in small businesses is just as important as it is in large ones. Be sure to take this into consideration and document everything. You may end up paying a high price if you don’t.
Posted by Beverly on
December 30, 2008
Guest post: Helen Georgaklis, Financial Planner
CRASH! That’s what the stock market has done for the past few months. This emotional beast has euphoric highs and gargantuan downturns without a moment’s notice. Sound familiar; it should! The market is often compared to women when we’re PMSing….
It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s up, and it’s down…..
So what are you going to do about it? How do you avoid the emotional roller coaster ride and sail effortlessly through the years without PMSing at every turn?
Is it possible to take our mind off the pain we are experiencing in times like these? How do we remain steadfast and focused so we avoid emotional meltdown during market corrections?
There is no magic pill; it isn’t easy to do, but it is possible. You cannot time the market, nor can you predict any future returns based on past history.
PMS = Planned Monthly Savings
There are three simple steps to avoid your next PMS attack. So many have been lured by the thrill ride and it has cost them many hundreds of thousands of dollars. They were enticed by the Carney barker at the entrance to the fair by tales of riches and power with the potential to make their dreams come true. Visions danced in their minds of fortune and early retirement. However, had they looked a little deeper, taken it slow, done their homework and had a step-by-step attitude, the crash would’ve been more padded and far less painful!
How can you start off on the right foot and stay on the right path?
You begin by settling on an amount that you can afford every month to put aside. A good rule of thumb is your yearly savings should represent at least 5% of your earnings, up to 12% if you’re really good!
As an example, if you earn $45,000 a year, a 5% yearly savings would result in $47.00 a week savings. Your approximate net monthly income would be $2700.00 per month or $675.00 a week. When you’re take home pay is $675.00 a week, don’t tell me you can’t afford to save a mere $50.00; or maybe you want to deny yourself the chance to actually save money.
If we choose our investment/savings program the way we choose our relationships, are we setting ourselves up for a PMS attack? Some plans may be too risky; fly by night. While others may be way too conservative and offer little growth…bottom line, PMS!
If you feel that you can’t do it on your own, then by all means sit down with an advisor who can guide and direct you. You don’t have to opt for the amount they’re comfortable with for you; you have to pick an amount that YOU know YOU can do!
Imagine this; if you had put just $25.00 away a month in a savings plan starting at 21 yrs old, by the time you’re 60, you’re a millionaire. Obviously, that is a slow wealth accumulation; but that’s the whole point! You don’t become rich over night. Would you fly off to Vegas and marry the first guy that asks you? (If you answer yes, I have a good therapist to recommend). Again, bottom-line PMS!
A financial advisor, who does true financial planning, can put together a sort of “map”. Your map is created just for you and it will help you keep a focus and on track as much as possible even allowing the flexibility to fall off without falling out!
You can actually put together a plan for the simple reason that it offers you a snapshot of what the future “may” look like if you choose to follow it.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice! You decide, are you worth the riches, or are you stickin’ to rags?
You don’t have to be a millionaire, and no one should sell you on that concept, but for your sake, at least be sold on the concept that you should reach for the sky even if you end up only reaching a sky scraper! At least you will have lived knowing you tried instead of living your life wondering what could’ve been.
Ask professionals; get opinions, get second and third opinions. We’re really strange creatures; we go to dentists for our teeth, go to gynecologists for check ups, go to the mechanic to fix our car, yet when it comes to our money, either we don’t do anything about it, or we let someone other than a professional take care of it!
It’s important that you do your homework! If you don’t, nobody will and you will fail! As a baby boomer woman in business, you can’t afford to fail; it costs TOO MUCH! It’ll cost you a lot less in every aspect if you do your homework rather than PMSing at every market downturn.
Posted by Beverly on
December 21, 2008
No woman in business wants to fail. We all would like to think that we can do whatever we set out to accomplish. So why is it that some people seemingly fail over and over again? Here are some reasons I believe people don’t accomplish their goals:
1. Putting things off. Some people have a habit of putting things off that they know they really need to do. Instead of doing what is important right now at this moment which will get them one step closer to attaining their goals, they instead pick something else to occupy their time. Usually this is something easy, less stressful or something just to do to occupy their time so that they don’t need to think about what they ought to be doing instead. They fail to see that being busy and being productive are two totally unrelated concepts and being busy won’t necessarily get you closer to completing your goal.
2. They defeat themselves before they even begin. Imagine having a child who fell down a few times while trying to ride a bike. What if that child said they just weren’t meant to ride a bike and quit? You would think that was ridiculous and encourage them to try it again. Well people who fail do exactly the same thing. They tell themselves that they can’t do this or they don’t deserve to have tremendous success and all of a sudden they have defeated themselves without evening trying. You have to realize that success well earned is through learning from your setbacks. Without the setbacks how can you ever truly appreciate the successes? So instead of telling yourself why you can’t do something, tell yourself why you absolutely must.
3. They see failure as the end instead of the beginning. Some people have a hard time dealing with defeat. What they don’t realize is it is in your failures that some of your greatest goals can be accomplished. We learn through trial and error. There’s an old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” It is in the trying again that we learn from the previous mistakes and start to grow. To succeed is not so much a matter of whether you failed somewhere along the line or not but whether you got up stronger for it and carried on.
4. They take on too much. People who fail tend to take on too much at one time. They believe they can be the jack of all trades but, often times, end up being a master of none. When you focus on one project and give it a one hundred percent effort, you will discover the success you desire. Trying to be all things to all people never works. Also, learn to delegate. If you have others working with you, don’t be afraid to delegate a task or two to them. This will free up more of your time to do the things you are good at and increasing your odds of succeeding.
5. They don’t have a plan. People who fail never sat down and created a marketing plan for their venture. They probably just woke up one day and decided they wanted to do this or that and set out to do it without much forethought. Without a plan how can you possibly know who, what, where, why and how of your vision. Writing a clear, concise plan will help guide you as you begin implementing the goals you’ve set.
The important thing to remember is, failing at something is not the end of the world. You have to change your mindset and believe that it is only a detour to your ultimate destination.
Posted by Beverly on
December 18, 2008
How many times have you come across an article, email, blog or Twitter post that had misspelled words or incorrect grammar? If you’re a woman in business, it is important that you be mindful of the correspondence you’re putting out because ultimately it’s a reflection on you.
Just today I cringed as I read a couple of posts I sent out via Twitter:
Jst saying thanks for being a follower :)
When I waslk at the Duke University trail I always see women wearing make-up…
As a journalist, I ought to know better when it comes to misspelled words. But the truth of the matter is, even I am guilty more often than I care to be when it comes to allowing misspellings to appear in emails and blog posts.
That’s why it’s imperative that you proofread your writing BEFORE you hit that send button. Here are some tips on how to minimize your mistakes:
Read aloud what you’ve written to make sure what you’ve said makes sense. Leaving out a word or two can change the entire meaning of a sentence or leave the reader confused.
SLOW DOWN. Evn if your on a dedline, yu sould not be un such a hury that you misspell to many words (Even if you’re on a deadline, you should not be in such a hurry that you misspell too many words).
Use spell check if in doubt of a correct spelling.
One of the biggest writing mistakes I’ve seen is with grammar. This was a post I found on Twitter:
Thank you to everyone that voted.
Now most people would probably not think anything was wrong with that sentence but it is INCORRECT. It should read Thank you to everyone WHO voted. Why? Because “who” refers to a person or persons—“that” refers to an inanimate object.
Here’s the bottom line: You may be a great writer with a gift for words but if your writing is constantly filled with typos, misspellings and grammatical errors, you’re going to lose readers.