Tag Archives: Business Woman

Are you spending your time effectively on Facebook?

 

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

Are you spending time looking at the right parts of your Facebook business page? It’s so easy to get distracted by “shiny things” on Facebook, but as a business owner it’s important to stay focused on your goal to connect with your followers. Having a strategy for your social media marketing should also include regular maintenance on your Facebook page to ensure that what you are posting and sharing is actually connecting with the right followers.

  1. Update the “About” tab on your Facebook Business Page regularly. Take a few minutes at least once a month to revisit and revise the fields with important information about your business. In particular, ensure that the Short Description, Long Description and all contact details are up-to-date and accurate.
  2. Review the Insights for your Facebook Business Page often to analyze what posts are reaching your audience and are engaging your followers. The Insights can help you identify the best time to post and can provide you with more demographic information about the people who engage with your Page.
  3. Monitor the interaction on your posts and be sure to reply to all comments quickly! The average social media user expects a reply within 1 hour to a comment that they make on social media. Be considerate of the time someone took to make a comment, and respond in kind, even if just to say Thank You!
  4. Share your involvement in local or online events and be sure to create event listing for events that your business is hosting. Invite your friends and contacts to join your event page for updates and event information. If you are participating in someone else’s event, you can add that event to your page’s event listing without creating a new event. This helps to connect your business page with others, thus increasing your visibility!
  5. Know when to spend money on boosted posts and promotions on Facebook and allocate an appropriate budget for this purpose. Keep in mind that you should first set up target audiences in Facebook Ad Manager before spending any money on promotions. The more time you spend to target the right demographic, the more return you will see on your ad spend.

To learn more about how to maximise the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.

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Women On Top

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life as an entrepreneur versus life in the corporate world and how it has affected me as a woman. I am thinking in particular about my ceiling in both worlds.  How much success can women achieve in both worlds?  How far out of reach is the ceiling and have us as women found the magic formula to breaking that glass ceiling?

Let’s start with the corporate world.  In my case our corporate structure is that of the “good old boys club”.  Senior executives are the picture of corporate with not a woman in sight.  Middle management is made up of about 10 percent women.  On the bottom of the totem pole, the structure is as expected – a male dominated production group and a female dominated office group.  To excel in an environment as this takes a lot of game play and sometimes ruthlessness.  You cannot be too tough or else you are labeled as “bitchy” or “moody” and you cannot be overly nice or you can be deemed to office “harlot.”  You not only have to play the game, but you also have to continuously prove your knowledge and capabilities to the powers that be.  This part has me baffled.  Why?  I’m sure those powers would not have made you a part of the organization if you were not remotely qualified to do the job or if they didn’t feel you were well suited for the position and the company.  How far up the corporate ladder can women get in an environment such as this?  It’s a far climb for us and especially rough when obstacles are placed in our way.  My feeling is that we are fighting continuously for what we deserve – even when it is earned.  Not many of us know how to demand what we have earned.  In my case, I have set my goals to what my definition of success would be in the corporate world.  Do I want to be President of the company? NO!! What I want is what I have earned – nothing more and definitely nothing less!!

As an entrepreneur I have the opportunity to be the President, Owner, Assistant, Director, coffee runner, pencil sharpener…you name it, I am in charge of it.  More women are going down the entrepreneurial path without really understanding how much more work it takes to be successful. As a female entrepreneur, when I attend networking events that are male dominated I get a lot of pats on the back and “good for you”, “you’re a smart girl”, “you did this all on your own” from the male networkers.  It is as if I am not perceived of being capable of achieving all that I have or that I have or that it is a surprise that a woman can really be successful in their world.  There are also always a few men who are there to be the “saviours” or “messiah.”  I remember being told by one man in particular who came to a female dominated networking event that he was there to help the women.  Take note, he said HELP not SUPPORT. Now, I will be the first to agree that we all need to support each other, but what I do not like is the notion that women cannot find ways to help each other succeed.  We are a resourceful group and we find ways to dig our way out of a hole.  There is still that mental and societal influence that makes us feel like being solopreneurs is the pinnacle of success.  Why not strive to grow your business into a multinational corporation? Sky is the limit-not the glass ceiling.  It truly depends on what your personal goal is.

For me, I enjoy the challenges of both the corporate world and the entrepreneurial world.  Women will always have to work extra hard to break that glass ceiling.  For most of us, the ceiling is not made by others, but by our personal limiting beliefs.  Identifying what is causing these beliefs is the first step towards breaking the ceiling and allowing ourselves to strive for the highest of highs.  I know one thing – this woman plans to be on the top when it comes to the entrepreneurial game. I will not stop until my business is where I want it to be – Canada-wide.  I will not let being woman be a hindrance.  It is not a crutch.

 

Dwania is the Founder and Executive Director of Canadian Small Business Women Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

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3 Reasons Self-Reflection Matters In Business

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In a life of business, it can become tempting to look forward and outward. You’re always striving for success, dealing with competition, and looking to better yourself, your company, or both. There are external forces at work, and there’s always someplace higher to climb. This is good. It’s a spirit of pursuit that drives some of the most successful people in business! But I’d also argue that it’s important for anyone who hopes to be successful in this kind of environment to learn the value of self-reflection. With so much focus outward and upward, here are three reasons I’d argue looking inward matters, too.

1. You Can Understand Yourself Better

The clearest benefit of self-reflection is that it can help you to gain a better understanding of your own personality or tendencies. This is true both in general and with regard to your performance in business. Self-reflection is the process of asking yourself questions to develop a deeper level of understanding about yourself, as stated in a blog post at a tech communications site. It’s actually one of the more effective definitions out there. You simply get to know yourself better, and you do so in a way that can allow you to better shape yourself as an business owner, employee, or entrepreneur.

2. You Can View Your Own Development

In addition to gaining a better understanding of yourself in a given moment or situation, self-reflection can also help you to better view how you’ve developed over time, and what that development might say about you. At an online coaching platform for MBA applicants, one student discusses the benefit of making sense of previous experiences while writing about himself. This in essence is another way of saying that through self-reflection, this student gained a more thorough understanding of what had driven him to a given point, including successes and failures. Feeling out your own history this way can help you to understand what works and what doesn’t work for you, and it can influence your actions moving forward in a very real way.

3. You Can Increase Your Leadership Capacity

It falls in line with the idea of understanding yourself and your own tendencies. However, an article at LinkedIn pointed out that self-reflection in a business environment can also help you to gain an increased awareness of problematic performance traits, the same way you might look to recognize them in employees or co-workers. With this in mind, you can actually approach self-reflection almost as a kind of performance review for yourself, particularly if you happen to be in a position of leadership. You can recognize problematic traits and address them so as to become a more effective leader and co-worker.

It’s always a good idea to look inside, perhaps particularly so when you’re in the middle of a fast-paced, competitive work environment. With too much focus on external forces and the drive forward, you can easily lose sight of what it is that makes you effective in your job, or what it is you might need to work on. Taking regular time for self-reflection can work wonders.

Patti Conner

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3 Reasons We Have to Learn to Say No

sandra

I’ll admit that there was a time when saying no was a problem for me. As a chronic people pleaser, I was always saying yes to things I should have been saying no to. It led to overwhelm, frustration and often times, resentment. This is why I feel pretty confident in sharing these three reasons why we have to learn to say no.

  1. You risk becoming a bitter b-tch

When we don’t have boundaries, there are always going to be people who take advantage of the situation. If you don’t want to feel like you’re constantly being treated like a doormat, you’re going to have to put on your big girl panties and start saying no. Sure it will feel uncomfortable at first, but if you don’t learn how to say no soon, you’re going to end up bitter and resentful. When it gets to this point you run the risk of saying no to things you should actually be saying yes to.

  1. There’s always someone else who will say yes

Many times we choose to say yes because we worry that if we don’t the person asking will be left stranded. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re playing the martyr in a situation like this. We feel like we have to sacrifice our time and do what’s asked of us because if we don’t the world will come to a complete standstill. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but as wonderfully special as you are, you cannot possibly be the only go-to person for every favour request. Believe me when I say that even if you say no, it will get done – eventually 🙂

  1. You’ve got your own empire to build!

I’m sure you have your own list of things to accomplish, goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to make a reality. If you spend all your time taking care of everyone else’s needs, when do you find the time to get the things that are important to you done? You’ve got to find a way to balance it all. If you haven’t reviewed your priorities lately, then there’s no time like the present! If we don’t identify what’s important to us, then we don’t know where we should be focusing our time and energy. When we lack focus, it’s so much easier to get pulled in many different directions, none of them serving our needs in any way.

It’s okay to say no sometimes. Know that NO can actually be a full and complete sentence. You don’t have to give an explanation or justify it. If you feel you need to, go ahead. I’ll give you this warning though – no matter what the explanation is; there will be those that don’t want to hear it. Especially those who are used to you saying yes all the time. Some will even consider this change in behaviour a bit selfish. The good news is that most will respect you for it in the long run and your relationships will benefit as well. Like TD Jakes says, “greatness is contagious”. You might as well focus on your greatness so that you can lift those around you to the same level. If you don’t have the time to focus on you, how will you ever become the rising tide that lifts all boats?

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution. She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!

Connect:

www.embraceyourdestiny.ca

www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestiny

www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestinythebook

www.twitter.com/sandradawes

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Dealing with a negative review

CHuntly

You put your heart and soul into building your business. Whether you sell a product or a service, no matter how amazing it is, it’s inevitable you are going to run into a few negative reviews. They can crop up for any number of reasons: the customer is having a bad day; something went wrong with your product/service; what you offer really just wasn’t a good fit with the customer; or perhaps it was the ever-present internet troll (people who will do or say anything to get a rise out of someone).

Whatever the reason for the negative review, don’t take it personally.

Here are a few things to consider so you can come out ahead after a bad review.

  1. CREATE A PLAN: In fact, if you have protocols in place ahead of time, then you can be strategic about your response rather than rely on decisions that might be based on an emotional reaction. Regardless of the situation, how you respond shouldn’t differ.
  2. DON’T WAIT TOO LONG TO RESPOND PUBLICLY: Gage the situation – if it’s an internet troll, they are just looking for an argument. If it’s a credible customer situation, respond strategically within 48 hours. A quick response and an attempt at a positive outcome reflects positively on you. In many cases the review may be edited or deleted if they are happy, but never ask them to remove a bad review.
  3. TAKE IT OFFLINE: While it’s good for everyone to see that you are listening to your customers and are concerned about their experience with your brand, you don’t need to air all of the nitty gritty details of the situation publicly. Ask to move the conversation to private message, email, or even a phone call, depending on the situation.
  4. CREATE A DIALOGUE: A bad review is a great opportunity for you to build a strong foundation for a long-term relationship with a customer. You are both human, after all. Show a willingness to work with them, be truthful, but keep it neutral – keep emotion out of your problem-solving.
  5. Don’t pick a fight: STOP YELLING AT PEOPLE BY RESPONDING IN ALL CAPS! It just makes you look like you are ready for a fight. Apologize and move on.
  6. TAKE IT SERIOUSLY: Your customers and potential customers are always listening. A bad review can turn away customers and you may not have a chance to win them back. If more than one person has the same complaint, then you need to take a step back and review your approach – that many people can’t be wrong.
  7. ENCOURAGE CUSTOMER REVIEWS: A great loyalty program or contest can encourage your customers to review you. The goal is to outweigh the bad with the good. You can’t (and shouldn’t) have the negative review removed but the more reviews you have, the more credible you look.
  8. LEARN FROM IT: A negative review is a great chance for you to learn more about what types of customers you shouldn’t Refine your target audience by listening. You can also tweak your approach and potentially your product/service offering based on negative reviews. Remember, multiple negative reviews about the same thing means that you are doing something wrong.

A negative review doesn’t have to be the end of the world. How you choose to deal with it will either allow you to come out ahead or fall behind. The important thing to remember is that you can always work to win back favour from your customers if you do it in the right way.

Have you gotten a negative review and you’re not sure what to do, or maybe you handled it wrong? Feel free to reach out so I can help you find a solution that is right for you.

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.

Connect with Candace

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Angela Boschee: Canadian Small Business Woman of the Month of July 2016

Angela at Runwayz
Runwayz began in 2005 as a home based business and has to grown to our current location in downtown Medicine Hat, Alberta. We are pleased to offer unique and hard to find gift ideas including general gift ware, baby and kids clothing and toys, ladies footwear and accessories, and home accents. We are thrilled to be soon celebrating our website’s one year anniversary! Our website isrunwayzboutique.com and we ship anywhere in the world.

Province

AB

Company Mission

We enjoy providing a great variety of hard to find and one of a kind gift ideas for everyone on your list!

Product/Service Description

Unique Gift Ideas
Ladies Footwear, Accessories, and More
Baby and Kids Clothing & Toys
Home Accents

Journey to Mompreneurship

Every since I was a little girl I dreamed of owning my own store someday. That dream combined with a love of shopping brought me to where I am today. I am thrilled to own my own boutique, balancing being a stay at home Mom with my store. I also love to host local small business showcases, continuing to offer small businesses such as myself a place to present what they have to offer to our community! I also enjoy supporting various fellow Mompreneurs by offering their products through our store,
Our Q & A with Angela
*What inspires you? 
I draw inspiration from many things including my friends and family, God, and fellow entrepreneurs that I admire.
*As a small business owner, what achievements make you most proud?
We are just wrapping up celebrating a milestone … 10 years in business!  I am really grateful to have reached the 10 year mark.  I am also very proud of all the work that has gone into creating our websiterunwayzboutique.com
Another thing that I truly enjoy is networking with other small businesses and hosting small business trade shows.  I truly enjoy helping others and am proud of the success of the shows that we have hosted.
*What advice would you give to other aspiring small business owners?
Be open to continual research and change to stay in the running
*What new things can we look forward to from your business in the upcoming year?
Some exciting new products in the areas of general giftware especially.
Follow us on twitter and like us on face book (as listed below) to stay in the loop!  We also have a newsletter sign up on our web page.
Like Angela’s page on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Runwayzboutique

Visit her website
http://runwayzboutique.com

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3 Ways to Network This Summer

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Summer is fast approaching and as the days get longer and warmer entrepreneurs put their networking goals on hold.  Sadly many people think of networking as work and forget that a strong network is built through relationships not rules or business card quotas. Contrary to popular belief summer is a great time to get out there and strengthen your network. Here are three ways you can network this Summer:

Get in the game
Outdoor sports are extremely popular in the summer. Whether you’re a player or simply a fan get in the game by joining a sports team or attending a sporting event.  There are also some great charity sports events such as golf or volleyball tournaments that you can get involved in.  Sharing a common interest such as sports, brings people together and helps form better relationships.

Leverage your lunch break
The warmer summer weather is a great reason to be outside and an even better opportunity to invite a new connection out to lunch. Most people enjoy being out of the office during the warmer summer months and are more likely to accept a lunch invitation. The season also makes a lunch meeting more informal as you can opt for outdoor seating and enjoy your surroundings.

Attend some festivals
Summer is famous for its festivals. Attending a few summer festivals is a great way to learn about new music and different cultures. It also exposes you to many potential connections.  Most festivals are free and open to the public so it’s a cost effective way to enjoy the summer and build your network.

  Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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Networking – it isn’t just about you!

Sheralyn

Many have shared thoughtful insight and opinion on the topic of networking but here’s what sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Networking isn’t always all about you. It really isn’t. I teach emerging entrepreneurs about the benefits of networking and provide a “how to” on creating their own starter statement (most call this an elevator pitch) as a way to get the conversation flowing.  The reality is however, sometimes, the audience with whom you’re networking, just isn’t one you’ll ever do business with.  If that’s the case, should you still expend the effort? Heck yes!

Networking is in fact almost always about the referral.  It’s possible you will never have reason to do business with the financial representative you just met over coffee and unlikely you could buy from each of the lovely “Brand X” nutritional shakes or skin care reps you meet along your networking journey. But guess what? If you make a favorable impression on them or they on you, its entirely possible you might know someone else who is willing to do business with them and/or needs their product or service.  Because you took the time to have a great conversation, to network and get to know them, each of you are now more than willing to act as a referral source for the other. That’s how networking works.

Too often people go into these opportunities with a “what’s in it for me” attitude.  Recently, I was at an event where someone was selling a health food product with nuts in it.  I didn’t notice and when I asked if it was nut free she was quite sarcastic in her response. That’s not a person I want to do business with.  I made an honest mistake and I actually know two individuals who own and operate establishments where this person might have wanted to have her products featured. I did pass along the names of the establishments to her (I’m not that mean) but I certainly didn’t offer to act as a referral source because our networking conversation wasn’t a pleasant one.  I had no confidence in her product because I had no confidence in her.  It also meant I was unable to discuss my business with her so it was a missed opportunity for us both.

So yes you should still expend some effort even when the networking isn’t about you.  Think of the time spent as an opportunity to share your core values with the world. By sharing who you really are, not just what you do, you are sending a strong message to the world about what is important to you, how you do business with others and how you treat people. I don’t know about you, but knowing these kinds of things about a person is much more likely to encourage me to want to do business with them and I believe makes others more interested in potentially working with me.  Be the kind of referral you would like to get from others and meet others with the intention of acting as a great referral for them.  That’s what networking should be all about.

 

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business

writingrightforyou@gmail.com

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The importance of using social media for networking

 

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Social media has changed the way companies and people network themselves because now a days it isn’t about who you know, it’s about who knows you. Marketing yourself through social media has become the norm for businesses and thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, interacting with your cliental couldn’t be more easy and beneficial.

 

  • Feedback: receiving supportive criticism could potentially impact your business in a more positive direction and help adjust your marketing strategy.
  • Constantly connected: social media provides you with the ability to view problems or concerns customers may have. In return this gives you the opportunity to respond and resolve these issues immediately.
  • Personal: social media to many can feel more like a personal connection and not just some business shoving out advertisement. Being able to read tweets or posts will give you the opportunity to learn what your clients have to say, which can become helpful advice in making improvements within your business.
  • Finding customers: using key word searches is a helpful way to find new clients. Using this tool will give you the opportunity to redirect them to your company’s personal website.
  • Connecting: join multiple groups through Facebook relating to your scope of work. Market yourself within theses groups by posting a link to redirect potential customers to your site; this will help create brand awareness.
  • Promote: media sites give you the chance to get your name out there. This can also help lead to clients recommending you to friends and family members through Facebook and helping create traffic to your website.
  • It’s free marketing: unfortunately we aren’t all rolling in money and have millions of dollars to blow on ad’s for our company. These media outlets are easy to use and manage, while giving you the opportunity to promoting yourself without any fee.

 

Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Website

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Keeping it Consistent on Social Media

Kelly headshot (2)

With millions of people to reach online, spread over hundreds of Social Networks, how do you keep up engagement levels with your fan base for your small business? The simple answer is: consistency. The more consistent you are in posting, liking and commenting through your business profiles on social media, the easier it will be to break through all of the online noise with your message.

Finding Consistent Content

Quality content is the most important commodity in the online world today; it is also the most time consuming to create. Don’t worry – the good news is that you probably have more to share than you know of. Answer these questions to look for existing content in obvious places and as a starting point to help you to start thinking of what you can post, share and create:  

  • How many previous blogs, social media posts, videos or reviews can you repurpose?
  • Do you have daily/weekly sales or specials that you can share routinely?
  • Can you talk about any problems or concerns that your customers have that is relevant to your business?
  • Start thinking of your content as the voice of your business – What is your business passionate about?
  • If your business had an avatar, what would their personality be and how would their voice sound?

Posting Consistent Content

Once you have good content, it’s important to be posting it regularly. Social Networks function person-to-person, so be social! In order to be seen on busy social networks you have to be active, just like in real life. Posting content once a week just isn’t going to cut it. Ideally, brands need to be posting multiple things daily.

How does this work in practice? For example, if I have a daily special, then I might put a post about that special online each day at 8AM. If you publish a blog, make sure that you are posting that blog at the same time every week or month. Building around that single consistent daily post you can start to plan when (2-3x daily) and where (1-2 social networks) online you will share the rest of your content. Just don’t get so stuck on the plan that you don’t allow for any spontaneity in your posting!

Scheduling Consistent Content

Keeping up with this demand for visibility can be a huge challenge – content planning calendars are perfect for this. Using either a digital or paper planning calendar will help you to plan out what content you want to post, at what times and on what networks. It’s a good idea to stick to a basic posting schedule that allows for 2-3 posts daily.

Planning out 2-3 posts (or more) daily across multiple social networks can be a full-time job in itself (just ask me!), so busy businesses need to ensure they are not spending too much time each day thinking about planning their social media posts. You can save time by using apps like Buffer or Hootsuite to manage your social networking content calendars and pre-schedule posts for an entire week or month at a time. Additionally, there are many other Apps that work with specific platforms (ie. Tweetdeck for Twitter, Latergramme for Instagram, etc.) and Facebook has it’s own build in “schedule” for Facebook Business Pages. By pre-planning content, you can spend as little as 10 minutes a day online responding to comments and engaging with other brands.

The most important thing to remember is that an abandoned online presence is worse than no presence at all. You have real people waiting on the other end of “the internet” that want to hear what you are saying, so don’t let them down!

Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over three years. Her team now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams, to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to contact us today for a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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