Archive for the ‘Businesswomen’ Category

The Best Marketing Tool—Women Advisory Boards

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Creating the perfect marketing mix, attracting ideal customers and hiring and retaining the best employees are key steps to success for any business. Of course, products and services, management and cash flow are all essentialadvisoryboards1 elements to profitability and longevity, but this blog is going to focus on the best way to maximize the return on your marketing time, resources and talents.

Women Advisory Boards (WABs) are so strong because they are cost effective, provide an wealth of new ideas and contacts and work as both a consultant to you and an ambassador to the community on your behalf. Their networks become your networks, their ideas your ideas and their dollars, your dollars.

meeting1Because a WAB is a flexible vehicle that can be designed to fit a company’s specific needs, it can help the organization find new clients, develop new product ideas or invite sports fans to more games. The innovation and enthusiasm of the group is contagious and will be felt throughout the entire organization.

WABs serve as focus groups, but with an ongoing commitment to your success. They can serve to critique your advertising campaigns, website design, social media effectiveness, sales tools and promotional ideas.

In addition to marketing efforts, WABs can help businesses recruit, retain and promote more female employees, often leading to a more female-friendly culture within the organization. WABs have assisted companies in creating newmeeting2 recruiting strategies by discovering new places and ways to attract quality women. WABs can also function as mentors to young female employees. The women on the board know and trust you. Thus, they will provide referrals and become loyal customers themselves.

In a tight economy, getting the most for every marketing dollar is important. A Women Advisory Board is the best use of your marketing dollars with will have greatest ROI.

Women Don’t Do It Alone

Monday, October 4th, 2010

nawbologoWomen leaders turn to many organizations to foster their personal and professional growth. One such organization is the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), which was founded in 1975. It is the voice of more than 10 million U.S. women-owned businesses. Its roster boasts over 7000 members and 70 chapters across the country. NAWBO’s mission is to propel women owned businesses into more economic, social and political power worldwide by providing insightful commentary on issues important to them. By focusing on the unique attributes that women business owners bring to the table, NAWBO joins female entrepreneurs from a wide range of businesses into a more-influential voice and helps them achieve dynamic leadership roles.

The vision for eWomenNetwork was to create a vast network of success-oriented female business owners andewnlogoa11 professionals who would have easy access to each other’s skills, talents, knowledge and resources. eWomenNetwork supports, promotes and showcases members’ products and services to help them achieve their professional objectives by providing multiple venues including online support, monthly meetings, coaching, publishing, a speaker’s bureau and annual national conventions. The eWomenNetwork.com philosophy is to give and serve others before focusing on ourselves.

webologo4Another medium designed to support women are Exec-U-Links, which are comprised of high-level female corporate executives and successful business owners who come together to share challenges, solutions, experiences, expertise and best practices. Two specific examples are the Women Executives and Business Owners (WEBO) and the Automotive Women Dealers (AWD). Both groups are comprised of creative, passionate, results-oriented women who discuss issues ranging from growing revenues and profits to hiring and succession planning to marketing and social media. Exec-U-Links are limited to 12 women who meet in a comfortable, confidential environment to support, encourage and help each other achieve their passions.

These are just a few ways women connect and develop their leadership potential. For more information on any of these wonderful groups for talented and successful women, contact us at gerry@advisorylink-dfw.com

Marketing Business Travel to Both Women and Men

Monday, April 19th, 2010

travel1After watching “Up in the Air” this weekend, I began thinking about the traveling public and how many men and women fly for business and pleasure each year. Most airlines have a program to reward their very best customers, as they should. In any business, it is always smart to create strategies to retain your current patrons, as well as steps to add new ones. Unfortunately, many businesses focus more on attracting new clients, which is much more costly than maintaining existing ones. But I digress.

As the travel industry continues to struggle with high fuel cost, nature’s intervention and security issues, businesses are spending less on travel and more on other means of connecting and doing business.

Both domestic (down 5.2 percent) and international (down 6.3 percent) flights are suffering as only 769.6 million people flew last year, down 5.3 percent from 2008′s 812.3 million and more than 8 percent below 2007′s total of 838.2 million.

Like many corporations, the airline industry would be wise to focus a little more on how they can better serve their flyers rather than what new fees they can impose.

Adding services that will appeal to women makes good business sense. Providing a safer airporttravel2 environment and more assistance when needed, especially for women traveling alone, would be a good place to start. Not that women are helpless, we aren’t. It is just nice to have friendly, helpful personnel available. However, the best way to make your airline “the airline of choice for women” is to ask them what they want. By creating a Woman’s Advisory Board that includes a diverse mix of women, an airline can literally pull ahead of its competition.

Read All About It: Gender Communication Differences

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

book2There are many books written on the differences in the genders and how we communicate, buy and lead differently. Shaunti Feldhahn recently released The Male Factor: The Unwritten Rules, Misperceptions, and Secret Beliefs of Men in the Workplace. She wrote that the familiar phrase, “It’s not personal; it’s business” concisely states how different men and women are. Men can compartmentalize and focus entirely on work, whereas women’s focus is more encompassing. Leading the Way to Success by Dr. Warren Bennis, Jack Canfield, Gerry Myers and James Kouzes http://advisorylink-dfw.com/books.html is another example in a long list of books on this topic.book1

In 1994, Dr. Deborah Tannen added to her impressive linguistic work by tackling the subject of communication in the workplace. Talking from 9 to 5 became an instant best seller. Jane Sanders, GenderSmart is another. And of course, the extremely popular Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus series included Mars and Venus in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Improving Communications and Getting Results at Work.
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In addition to numerous books on the subject, companies have created seminars, internet sites and webinars to address gender communications and differences in the workplace. While much has been done and more understanding does exist, there is still a communication barrier and obstacles to women successfully escalating the proverbial corporate ladder.

How Do Women Define Success? (Part 2 of 2)

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I can’t speak for all women, but from my research, here’s how women define success:Guest Blogger

Gaining Control – But not over other people, control over themselves, their time, their schedules, their responsibilities.

Working Smarter – In the past the focus has been on how hard can you work, how many hours you can log at the office, wearing that badge of honor of the 80, 90 hour workweek you regularly clock. Today, many women value time as much as money. (And they’re not alone – men are feeling the time pinch as well). Women’s new badge of honor isn’t how many hours they can work, it’s how much they can get done in fewer hours.

Flexible Schedules – Many women are saying – “I can put in the hours, but I want to put in those hours on my schedule.” They’re opting to work four 10-hour days instead of 5 days. They’re putting in the hours, but working around family time, medical appointments and other responsibilities that often don’t fit into an 8-6 workday.

Work that Matches Their Values – Women are tired of work that is energy draining and unfulfilling. They’re also keenly aware when their company values don’t match their own. This happens far more than you might think. I hear from many women who feel compromised and unsupported at work. They want to do work they believe in.

If you’re a woman in the workforce today, think long and hard about your definition of success. More and more women are asking to work on their terms. Or, as Christopher Morley said so perfectly….There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.

If you’re a company who wants to attract women – make sure you understand what her idea of success looks like. One of the most interesting things we’ve seen is that when you create better work environments for women, not only do women benefit, the companies benefit as well.

Here’s a toast to all our success, whatever it may look like.
I can’t speak for all women, but from my research, here’s how women define success:

Gaining Control – But not over other people, control over themselves, their time, their schedules, their responsibilities.

Working Smarter – In the past the focus has been on how hard can you work, how many hours you can log at the office, wearing that badge of honor of the 80, 90 hour workweek you regularly clock. Today, many women value time as much as money. (And they’re not alone – men are feeling the time pinch as well). Women’s new badge of honor isn’t how many hours they can work, it’s how much they can get done in fewer hours.

Flexible Schedules – Many women are saying – “I can put in the hours, but I want to put in those hours on my schedule.” They’re opting to work four 10-hour days instead of 5 days. They’re putting in the hours, but working around family time, medical appointments and other responsibilities that often don’t fit into an 8-6 workday.

Work that Matches Their Values – Women are tired of work that is energy draining and unfulfilling. They’re also keenly aware when their company values don’t match their own. This happens far more than you might think. I hear from many women who feel compromised and unsupported at work. They want to do work they believe in.

If you’re a woman in the workforce today, think long and hard about your definition of success. More and more women are asking to work on their terms. Or, as Christopher Morley said so perfectly….There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.

If you’re a company who wants to attract women – make sure you understand what her idea of success looks like. One of the most interesting things we’ve seen is that when you create better work environments for women, not only do women benefit, the companies benefit as well.

Here’s a toast to all our success, whatever it may look like.

Holly Buchanan is the co-Author of The Soccer Mom Myth – Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys. You can read her marketing to women blog at http://marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com/blog/

How Do Women Define Success? (Part 1 of 2)

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Guest BloggerHow does a woman define success? Is it the same way a man describes success?

This question crossed my mind when I read about a book titled, Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham. I know Buckingham is a self described “strength strategist,” but the title didn’t connect with me. I’ve done a lot of research on women and what they want – the words “having a strong life” have never come up.

You obviously can’t lump all women into one bucket, but I am curious – what does success look like to a woman? What does she really want? Especially from her career?

For many men, success is about earning lots of money, having power and control, being a good provider and being independent.

Women in the workforce have been pushing to have those same opportunities, to earn more money, have more power, move up the corporate ladder. They’ve been working the long hours, taking on more responsibility, proving they’re just as driven as the men. All this is true, but is it what women really want?

In their book Womenomics, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay present research and advice on how women can write their own rules for success.

“We want to show you your value through a whole different lens. We want you to work less but achieve more and live better. We want to make sure you go through such a profound mental shift that once you put down this book you will never again see achievement as hours in the seat, rungs on the ladder, and a fancy business title. It’s all too easy to be influenced by other people’s perceptions of what you should do. We’re going to show each of you how to carve out a whole new more satisfying path and write your own rules for success.

We’ll teach you how to come clean about what you really want, how to ignore what the traditional careerists say you want, and how to say no to what you don’t want.”
Holly Buchanan is the co-Author of The Soccer Mom Myth – Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys. You can read her marketing to women blog at http://marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com/blog/

The Many Faces of Woman–Business

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

 

doctor11While women share many traits, each has her own unique personality, background and experiences. Because they are so diverse, they occupy many demographic segments. Women are married, singled, young, old, executives, business owners, stay-at-home moms and everything in-between.

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Today women are working in every industry from doctors to lawyers and from contractors to firefighters. There are more than 10 million women owned business in the U.S.  As of June 2009, there are 15 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Fortune 1000 companies are led by an additional 13 women.

 

Women are getting more bachelor and master degrees than men. They are entering law and medical schools in greater numbers. In nearly 40 percent of all dual income families, the wife is the larger breadwinner.

 

Women make up nearly 50 percent of the total workforce in the U.S. As a result of their numbers and leadership abilities, they are shaping the future of business in this country.

Women’s Precious Commodity—Time

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

businesswomen6Women hold many things dear to them—their families, careers and friends. Money is valued as a means to an end and can be accumulated in varying degrees depending on the time invested in work, education and other factors. Time, however, is a limited commodity, and once gone, can never be recaptured.

Women have busy lives juggling many responsibilities. They search the Internet late at night, communicate with friends via email or social media early in the morning and work their career tasks around soccer games and school plays.

Luckily, women are great multitaskers. But even though they can accomplish much in businesswomen3a day, they still have limitations. If you want to connect with women, make it easy for them…on their terms. Websites should be easy to navigate and search. Information should be concise and clear. Retail outlets should be convenient and have enough cashiers and help available to make her shopping experience pleasurable.

Reaching women isn’t the key. Connection, understanding and relationship building is.

Appointment of Women to High Level Positions Is Flourishing

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

businesswomen7Women are starting more businesses than men, are not joining the ranks of the unemployed as quickly and are being promoted to positions of major responsibility to help direct many companies through these tough economic times. In July alone, Bank of America appointed Sallie Krawcheck to run Global Wealth and Investment Management and invited her to be a member of the Executive Management Team.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. announced hiring Anne MacDonald as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer. GE appointed Clara Gaymard Vice President, Government Strategy and Sales for GE International and National Executive for GE in France.

Retailers promoting women in July include Staples, J.C.Penney and Neiman Marcus. Sterling Bank, Cigna and Verizon are representative of the financial, healthcare and communications sectors elevating women to more powerful roles.

In media, Robin Pence became Vice President at Gannett Co. Additionally, Hilary Smith was promoted to Senior Vice President at NBC Universal’s Women and Lifestyle Entebusinesswomen21rtainment Networks.

In the energy/oil and gas business, W. R. Grace & Co. appointed Pamela K. Wagoner Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Other businesses are following suit by promoting women.

In government, major appointments included Regina Benjamin as Surgeon General and Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a potential Supreme Court Justice.

If your business is looking for strong leadership and doesn’t have several women in key positions, you are missing out on a lot of top talent.

Celebrating Women of the US

Monday, June 29th, 2009

vote3With July 4th being this weekend, it seems appropriate to talk about women who have been leaders in the shaping our country. There are government leaders like Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Elizabeth Dole and so many more. There are currently 16 US Senators, 75 Congresswomen and seven female Governors. http://advisorylink-dfw.com/news/NewsletterWinter2008.pdf  Women like Mary Kay Ash, Oprah Winfrey, Anne M. Mulcahy and Brenda Barnes have risen in the business world and have charted new territory for other businesswomen to follow.

http://advisorylink-dfw.com/news/NewsletterSpring2009.pdf

Women have led the way in “going green as well. Jacquelyn A. Ottman and Roxanne Quimby co-founders of Burt’s Bee’s Inc. are two pioneers in this field. http://advisorylink-dfw.com/news/NewsletterWinter2009.pdf

Annika Sorenstam, Peggy Fleming, Mia Hamm and the Williams sisters are role models for young women in the world of sports. http://advisorylink-dfw.com/news/NewsletterSpring2008.pdf

Women are contributing to every phase of our lives, from automotive to military and from academia to healthcare. http://advisorylink-dfw.com/newsletter.html

On this July Fourth weekend, let us remember all the talented men and women who have helped make this country great.