Written by Tessa Kampen
When I started networking, I was the best card dealer you have ever seen. If I came home with empty pockets, I thought I was a Rockstar because that meant I gave out 20 cards!
I don’t know about you, but for me that is what I assumed networking was – getting my business card into as many hands as possible. I want to show you why I was SO wrong and the 3 key things I learned about effective networking and how to win every time!
KEY TIP #1:
It’s Not About You
You know when you meet someone at an event and you introduce yourself and ask them what they do… and immediately they pull out their card and tell you all about the company they work for and how amazing it is? That was me. Another big no-no is going around to all the tables and slapping your postcards on all the place settings. Don’t do that!
When you attend an event, go with the sole purpose of serving other people. Instead of thinking to yourself “what are you going to do for me”, think instead about what YOU can do for THEM! Try this out at your next event – start up a conversation with someone about who THEY are and try to find a common ground. Ask them if they ever attended this event before, where do they live, compliment their outfit or earrings. Then ask them what they do and be genuinely interested in what they have to say. Make it about them, not you. Continue reading How I Gave Away 1,000 Business Cards & Still Failed at Networking
As featured in our Mompreneurs Marketplace at The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference
CubbyCubes were created by Elite Mompreneur member Sandi Silver with the purpose of simplifying and organizing her kids cubbies and shelves when they went to overnight camp. When visiting them on Visitor’s Day it was apparent that something needed to be done to help her boys find their clothing with greater ease. Sandi decided to use her own packing cubes for them that were typically used for travel when organizing the family when going on vacation.
CubbyCubes is a new kind of packing cube. As a mother who was tired of disorganized camp cubbies, missing shorts, and t-shirts with shoe prints on clothing (true story!), Sandi created this product with modifications she knew were necessary for organized and convenient travel. What differentiates us from other similar products is that we added a label window that fits a standard business card. On this card is where you write the contents of the unit.
The design has a unique advantage over competitor brands because of the label window that appears behind the handle. Labels are available as well that are reusable (you can write on it with a Sharpie, erase with rubbing alcohol and write on it again!) This time-saving feature allows any child or adult to easily locate their clothing and miscellaneous items, making CubbyCubes a must-have travel and life accessory.
Continue reading Company Profile: CubbyCubes
How to Increase Your Revenue and Fall Back in Love with Your Business
Written by Michelle Callipari
Hey You! Yeah I’m talking to you! Stop trying to do it all yourself!
I’m not saying this because I am a Virtual Assistant, but because we all have our strengths and we all have those things that we aren’t meant to be doing. We only have 24 hours in a day and at least 6 – 8 of those hours should be spent sleeping.
And let’s be honest here… there is at least one thing in your business that you absolutely loathe doing. Go on, tell me, what is it? Is it bookkeeping? Graphic design? Is it blog writing? Is it HST or taxes?Newsletters? Invoicing? Emails? I know, it’s Social Media isn’t it?!
I know there is something… and THAT thing is the thing you should be outsourcing right now!
Let’s take a quick walk through my version of the 5 W’s of Outsourcing… and I’m gonna throw in the How as well:
Who to Outsource To
Anyone who has a business or is in business has the opportunity (and need) to delegate and outsource. To whom do you delegate, you ask? Well, typically a Virtual Assistant is a good place to start. Most VA’s have a specialty or a niche, or some are “generalists”, which means they do a whole lot of everything. Some freelancers don’t call themselves VA’s, like bookkeepers, graphic designers, web designers etc., so it’s best to have an idea of what you’re looking for.
What to Outsource
That thing that popped into your head just a moment ago! That thing that you despise doing or that thing that takes up way too much of your time. That thing that must get done, but is non-revenue generating. That thing you keep pushing to the bottom of your To Do List… Yeah, that thing! Continue reading The 5 W’s of Outsourcing
It may be a bit funny to say the words, but a ‘tweet chat’ can be a really engaging experience to learn helpful tips, gain sage advice, and connect with other women entrepreneurs online that you may not have ever even met.
We’re happy to offer monthly tweet chats using the hashtag #MompreneurChat, where we focus on a particular theme, issue, or topic, and chat together with fellow women entrepreneurs using guided questions and links for advice and reference.
Mark them on your calendar – and be sure to join us on Twitter!
Written by Deborah Hilton
The basics of sales are the same within any industry around the world: you must be committed and consistent. Within the direct sales industry, there are a few key areas that will help you build your empire. There will always be other consultants out there that do exactly what you do, so don’t be the reason they look for someone else to buy their product from or build a business with! Future growth is waiting for you with a few small steps.
- Invest the time to develop a tracking system that you regularly check in with. Even a basic spreadsheet can provide you with a key spot to track your customer’s purchases, their favourite product, and when you last connected with them. Be consistent. We hear it all the time in direct sales: without follow up, you will lose business.
- Set aside dedicated time to follow up. And, pick up the phone! If a customer filled out a draw slip at a trade show, or placed an order with you, set aside the time to pick up the phone and call them. Texting and messaging is very convenient, but you can engage easier with them when you have a personal conversation. Sure, you might get a voice mail, and that’s okay. Leave a message. Even if they don’t call you back, it’s your desire to serve that will shine through. If you dedicate an hour or so each week to connect with your customers,, repeat business will be waiting for you. It might seem like a waste of time, especially when there are many points of contact, that don’t lead to an immediate sale. Direct sales is all about relationship building. It takes time. Be patient. It will come.
Continue reading Direct Sales 101
… a love triangle you want to be in
By Heather Tully
Senior Manager, Small Business Banking, Coast Capital Savings
Whether you are a new entrepreneur or a long-time business owner, you are the master of your own destiny—but it can be lonely at the top. Sometimes, it’s nice to know someone has your back. As a business owner, you should know that your financial institution can be that someone. They offer services and resources that’ll make your day-to-day back office operations run more smoothly, and ensure you’ve got the resources you need to take your business to the next level. In short, building a relationship with your financial institution allows you to focus on your first love… your business.
Breaking up is hard to do
Co-producing the next blockbuster, co-habiting with your love, co-operating on a community project… all good. Co-mingling your personal and business banking, not so good. Once your business is more than a hobby or an occasional pastime, it’s time to talk to your financial institution about opening a business account.
Having two accounts isn’t designed to make your life more complicated (as a mompreneur it’s plenty complicated already), in fact it’s just the opposite. A dedicated business chequing account will help ease record keeping, bookkeeping and tax compliance, and can lend credibility and professionalism to your business. Look at opening a High-Interest Business Savings account where you can stash five to 10% of your profits for contingencies or planned future purchases. It’s also a perfect solution for storing any taxes you collect throughout the year, like GST. Doesn’t an easier tax time sound good? Continue reading Your Business, Your financial Institution & You
When marketing your business, conventional magazine ads and TV spots can eat up all of your hard earned marketing dollars in a single ad. Custom t-shirts featuring your company name and logo are a great budget-friendly way to promote your business. Simple and comfortable, a t-shirt can help you promote your business whether you’re at a tradeshow, a vendor meeting or picking up your kids from school.
Outfit Your Staff
Whether you are a staff of one or one hundred, outfitting your team with t-shirts branded with your company logo is an effective way to promote your business. Whether your employees are at the office or the gym, if they’re wearing your t-shirt, they’re advertising your brand. If you’re at a tradeshow or event, a t-shirt helps attendees instantly recognize your staff.
Attend a Tradeshow
If you rent a booth at a tradeshow, wearing your company name helps to identify you to prospects and builds your brand familiarity. Even if you don’t have the budget to get a booth at the show, proudly sporting your logo on a t-shirt can still help you promote your company when you meet other attendees. Your logoed t-shirt becomes an instant ice-breaker. Whether standing in line at the coffee cart or sharing a table with strangers, you’ll be surprised how many people point to your company logo and ask “so, what does (company name) do?”
Get Customers to Wear Your Brand
When using custom t-shirts to build your brand, the idea is to get as many people as possible to wear them. A staple in everyone’s closet, a t-shirt makes a great gift-with-purchase that your customers are sure to keep. Have a baby product? Why not insert a custom onesie in their order and get your clients to do your marketing for you!
Need custom t-shirts for your business? Visit www.entripy.com, Canada’s leader for custom printed t-shirts. Mompreneur members save 10% with Entripy.
Christine Frances Poe is a Standard Mompreneur member based out of Burlington, Ontario. She is a finalist for The 2017 Mompreneurs Momentum Award, for her work as founder of TIKKO!
The Story Behind TIKKO:
My son Dorian was the inspiration to my becoming an entrepreneur. At the age of 9 (in 2013) Dorian, who lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder, decided to send his plush polar bear Tikko™ out into the world to raise autism awareness. Since then Tikko’s travelled to over 54 countries, met celebrities, and touched the lives of many. Before early intervention, Dorian was aggressive with us; was kicked out of three pre-school daycares; had hour-long meltdowns throughout the day; lived in fear (of everything) and barely slept. After 4 years working with teachers, EA’s, specialists (we all had to be on the same page in regard to “strategies”) I was seeing a new Dorian – compassionate, funny, sweet and very loving. I thought of other families struggling at the beginning of their journey. By supporting Dorian’s campaign, I was also supporting them. Dorian’s dream to help other kids like him is inspiring… it touches all of us who know what it’s like to live with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Christine’s Words of Advice for Other Women Thinking of Starting a Business:
I often coach women on finding their “Divine Life Purpose”; their reason for “being”. For many, it’s “fear” holding them back from their dreams. Letting go of “fear”; envisioning success and believing it’s already a reality is the first step needed to embrace one’s true passion.
Having support and honesty from those around you is most important. You’ll be challenged along the way; you will make mistakes. Learn from them! You need those in your corner who are more frank than tactful; those who will push you out of your comfort zone in a supportive way. True friends see true potential. You are in the driver’s seat. Don’t rely on others to do the work for you. You are the one to make things happen!
If you’re a mom, take time to sit down with your husband and children. Explain what you’re trying to accomplish; how your success is their success. Many hours will be invested in starting your new business. Never say, “I’m doing this for you”. If it’s your dream; your passion, you’re doing it for yourself. Take time to listen; appreciating how your success can also benefit and enrich their lives. Include them; make it a team effort so no one feels neglected or less important.
Create a vision board and keep it in a place where you can view it each day with gratitude. Say affirmations.
“Thank you for making my business a success; allowing me “quality” time with my family in the process.”
Join us on March 3/4 in Toronto for The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference, where we will announce all of our 2017 Mompreneur Award winners – LIVE at the event!
Connect with Christine
facebook | twitter | instagram
Sarah Willey is Standard Mompreneur member based out of Edmonton, Alberta. She is a finalist for The 2017 Mompreneur Startup Award, as founder of Mama Knows Luxury.
Sarah’s Journey to Creating “Mama Knows Luxury”:
Extreme Knitting and Crocheting has been growing in popularity rapidly over the past few years. Until recently, Canadians could only source supplies from international sources and faced many obstacles in doing so. We set out to build strong wholesaler relationships, to work with local designers and creators and to bring here products to Canadian artisans and hobbyists at an affordable price and with a full customer service experience. Over the past year we have focused on building the Mama Knows Luxury Brand and have expanded our product line to include innovative and unique handmade tools, finished blankets and other items crafters and yarn artists want. Our Extreme Wood Tools are handcrafted in Alberta by a family owned business, our wool is sourced from family collectives around the world and we are committed to staying focused on being real people who help other real people pursue their goals and desires to work with our luxury products or give our items as gifts to loved ones!
Specializing in luxury Merino Big Stitch Yarn and Locally Handmade Giant Knitting and Crocheting Tools, we are the first in Western Canada to bring these extremely popular products to both Canadian and International markets. Our wool is ethically and sustainably sourced and of the highest quality. Our focus is Customer Service and we have built a reputation for being helpful and approachable!
The Top Things Sarah Couldn’t Succeed Without as a Mompreneur:
- My dedication to Being Flexible! Being a Momboss means that life intends to constantly throw curve balls at you. Being flexible does not come naturally, I am a stubborn person and I am proud of my determination. But, I learned long ago that you become a better Mom, a better Business Woman and a happier person as soon as you stop fighting against the things you can’t control and teaching yourself to adapt instantly and adjust the planned itinerary accordingly.
My Girl Tribe! Over the past few years I have built my tribe. This is my core group of women, these women believe in me 1000%, I truly could not get through the difficult days without them. Every woman needs to find her tribe, the group of women who support her unconditionally, who celebrate her wins as if they were their own and who pick her back up every time she falls.
- My Reset Button! I built myself a “reset button” when the business started to grow faster than I was prepared for. I found myself so stressed that I wasn’t doing a great job at anything! My personal reset button is a quiet cozy corner of my sofa, a pen and paper so that I can dump everything that’s flying around in my head onto paper and a few moments alone to reset and put a new plan in place. Every Mompreneur should find her own personal “reset button”!
- My Determination and Motivation! Building a business comes with so many difficult decisions, setbacks, problems; it is not for the faint of heart. One must find a way to continually motivate themselves to put in the hours, dust themselves off when they hit a wall and create a steely determination to achieve the success they seek!
- My Family! I wouldn’t be a Mompreneur without them. They are the reason I am where I am today and they are the reason I push harder to be better everyday. We must make sure that we are giving them the love and attention that they need! We must set the time aside for them and honour it! My family gives me so much flexibility, they are my number one tribe, they support me and honour me when I need to activate my reset button and they revive my determination and motivation every single day. In return I do my very best to ensure they know how grateful I am to have them and how special they truly are to me!
Connect with Sarah