If you are like most female entrepreneurs, you operate your small business from your home office and most likely have very important files on your computer. At some point, you most likely have experienced the "where did I save that file" moment. Let's be real here, who can say they have never lost a file? Most business women who work on a computer and create files and documents have experienced the frustration involved when you lose a file. It’s even more aggravating when it’s a really, really important file that you have spent endless hours working on. Let's take a look at how we can ease or eliminate your frustration of losing files.
Dropbox. Let's take a look at this online tool that can help ease the overwhelm, especially when you are operating from your home office. One of the neat things to note is that it is a free download on any Windows, Linux, MAC and Mobile operating system. No matter how great your computer system is or how faithful it’s been to you in the past, it is asmart business decision to back up those important files.
With Dropbox you can:
* Store all of your business documents, photos and videos
* Share your documents with others
* Access your files from anywhere
* Protect your precious documents
Having the flexibility and convenience of knowing that you can access your files from anywhere, at anytime and not having to worry about your files being lost or damaged is enough to ease the worry and frustration that goes along with file storage and potential loss as you operate and grow your business.
As small business owners we sometimes outsource projects to virtual assistants; design teams and other consultants on a project by project basis and Drobox allows the sharing any of your documents with your team easily. All you have to do is send them an invitation to folders you give them access to in your Dropbox and they can view those files on any computer just as if the file is actually saved on that computer. It’s a great option when it comes to having to share files with your team or even your family members.
Dropbox is fast and super-easy to set up. Storage for up to 2GB is totally free as well as, you do have the option to purchase a storage package that will allow 50GB of storage for $9.99 per month. A great sharing and data back-up solution for your growing business.
Knowing there are options like Dropbox can definitely ease your fears of losing those valuable business files that you store on your computer. Added to that is the convenience of being able to access your files from anywhere; your client's office, the library, your favorite coffee shop...and the added feature of being able to share your files with others and recover those files as you need to. One other really neat benefit of Dropbox is that it actually works with smart phones, iPads and other devices that connect to the internet.
The convenience, ease of use and security of knowing your files are stored safely is probably the biggest reason more small business owners who work from home on their computers are turning to Dropbox for help with file storage.
If you are one of those women entrepreneurs who work from your home computer and have never suffered the frustration of losing one or more important files, consider yourself lucky.
Still, it’s better to be one step ahead and make sure you have a method of storing backup files. Starting all over isn’t always the only option. If you currently use Dropox to backup and store your important business files leave us a comment by telling us how it has helped you in your business.
Women Entrepreneurs you can turn your website into a lead generation machine with the addition of a registration form. Your website should be designed to be more than an online brochure which easily converts your visitors and becomes a powerful lead generation tool. A registration or contact us form can be such a commanding generator of leads that it makes sense to put them on other pages throughout the site as well.
Some best practices to consider when adding a registration form to your website include:
Using welcoming, benefit-oriented copy explaining why visitors should register, for example, exclusive access to business networking women.
Include a direct call-to-action, like “Register now” or “Get Information On Business Networking for Women. Click here!”
Including an irresistible offer, such as a downloadable white paper, an ebook or a Free Consultation , make it relevant to the needs of your audience.
Keeping the registration form short and easy to complete. Be mindful of your visitors time and only ask for the absolute minimum amount of information needed to get back in touch with the prospect, such as name, company name (if applicable), email address and phone number.
Establishing a process whereby the registered visitors are contacted quickly for follow up, whether by a marketer for qualification purposes or by a sales person, as applicable. Remember, the fortune is in the followup!
Successful women entrepreneurs will tell you that building a business is a fantastic and challenging experience. You can wake up exhilarated to begin your day and go to bed feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by all the things that you have to tackle in your business. The key to success is to maintain a positive, Yes You Can Do It, mindset.
If you are going through the "frustrated phase", you might be thinking, easier said than done, right? Keep reading because these 5 keys will help you to create and sustain a positive mindset so you attain the success you desire as a business woman.
"Negative thoughts and emotions can derail us and prevent us from achieving all we desire as women business owners"
1. Surround yourself with other successful women entrepreneurs and positive people. The influence people have over our own personal energy is amazing. Moods and attitudes are so easily spread – think about how much of a difference a simple smile from a stranger can make for your day and then magnify it 1000 times to demonstrate the power of positive and successful friends, family and associates.
T. Harv Eker talks passionately about this in his book Secrets of a Millionaire Mind. He strongly discourages spending any time with negative people, he says he tells them "Don't Stand Near Me!" as he believes negativity, like success is contagious
When you have people around you who inspire you, believe in you and want you to succeed, there’s no room for doubts to settle in and even when they creep up, they’re quickly swept away.
2. Create your own mantra or affirmation for your business. Here at MACsWomen we read each year at the MACsWomen Success Summit, the Group pledge. This helps to set a positive tone for the day as it reminds business women that they are truly phenomenal. Repeating positive affirmations has been shown to get business people through tough times and to actually help them truly believe what they’re saying.
For example, “I am building a powerful and profitable business.” Many of the most esteemed business professionals have used the same affirmation strategy to attain their success. To find the right affirmations for you, consider writing a quick list of your doubts, insecurities and complaints. These can then be quickly turned into affirmations.
For example, if you write that you’re always feeling disorganized then your affirmation would be, “I am organized and in control.” Repeat your affirmations several times a day and feel the power of positive thinking. Create an an affirmation for your business, one that resonates with you and repeat that one affirmation for 30 days!
3. Capture negative thoughts. We all have negative thoughts from time to time, however, negative thoughts and emotions can derail us and prevent us from achieving all we desire as women business owners. Of course catching those negative thoughts takes practice and persistence. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or having negative emotions, find a trigger to turn them around. The affirmations mentioned above are a great way to turn the negative into the positive. You can also find quick pick me ups like a favorite song, a walk outside in the fresh air, or some exercise to help improve your mood.
4. Set goals/intentions and then be willing to let it go. The law of attraction says that we attract what we focus on the most. However, desperation, needing your business to be a success, sends mixed messages and a lot of negativity into the universe. Set your goals and intentions and then let them go. A certain amount of faith in yourself and in the power of attraction is necessary. Give it a try.
5. Be grateful. Gratitude is perhaps the single most powerful and positive tool for success. When you’re grateful for all of the wonderful things and people in your life the challenges you face seem significantly less important and are more easily dealt with.
Consider keeping a gratitude journal and make a practice of entering into it daily. That way, when you’re facing challenges a quick peek at all the amazing things in your life will make you feel as if you can tackle anything.
Additionally, an attitude of gratitude helps you maintain a positive perspective and to face challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.
"An attitude of gratitude helps you maintain a positive perspective"
Business success is within your reach and with the right attitude you can accomplish anything you set your sights on. Embrace these five powerful mind success strategies for women entrepreneurs and you’ll build a better business and live a happier, more satisfying life.
As a woman business owner there are a trillion things that you could be doing on any given day in your business; this makes your time your most precious commodity. The saying "Time is money" is no exaggeration when it comes to how you spend your time as it pertains to operating and growing your business. Business women networking is smart and an excellent method for growing your prospecting list. However, it is essential that you prequalify your prospective clients whenever possible to ensure that you are maximizing the amount of time spent prior to setting up that phone call or in person meeting.
If you are offering a service such as small business consulting, there are qualifying questions that you can ask even from your website. Your "Contact Us" page can be used to give your visitors and prospective clients guidelines as to what you offer and guide them as to how you can serve them by asking prequalifying questions as they pertain to what you offer as a business. See our MACsWomen contact us page for an example.
Once you have established contact, you can further quickly determine if your prospective client is ready to conduct business or if they are still in the "gathering more information" stage. Asking questions like when will the project and their budget and how ready are they to move forward are great ways to minimize wasting time with prospects who are not ready to make a purchase. Your time as a business owner is valuable and you must choose to use it wisely.
Excellent customer service is always the best way to conduct business of course, whether a client is ready to buy or if they are still in the discovery stage. Creating a checklist of qualifying questions, based on the services you offer along with some general ones, like the questions mentioned above will serve you well with saving time and providing the best information to your prospects in an efficient manner.
One of the most important aspects of working from home as a business woman is to increase your income by improving your efficiency while serving your clients. At a “regular” job, typically you are paid hourly or salaried which means that the only way you’re going to get more money is through a promotion or cost of living raise. Home businesses are very different as you can increase your income just by being more efficient with your work. These tips may help you to improve your overall work performance when you work from home for your small business.
In the end, it’s all about efficiency and productivity. Generating revenue. You’ll find this out the more that you work your business. Being happy in your work will also keep you on your toes and productive, which is right where you want to be as you move forward to achieving success as a woman business owner.
You could be the most motivated person in the world when you are out in public, but when it comes to running a home based business you will have days where you just don’t want to get up in the morning. Growing a successful business is going to be difficult to start off with and there will be those times that are not good even after you are successful. That’s when you will need to find a bit of motivation to keep you working. Now, for some women in business, motivation is pretty easy when you have children and a family to take care of, but what if you don’t have any of that?
If you are young, single and you aren’t ready for the married life and kids, then finding a bit of motivation to keep your mood high can be difficult. What is your why? One thing that you can do is set an outstanding goal that you would like to meet someday. Maybe you have always wanted a certain house to live in. You know that one down the street with the large pool and all the windows. Maybe you can take a picture of that house and put it on the wall above your computer so that you can see it when you start to feel depressed and worn out.
Hanging up pictures of all the things you would like to have someday is a great way to stay motivated. I strongly suggest hanging up only a couple of pictures at a time. It will make you want to work harder to get those things if you are constantly looking at them while you are working. Once you gain one of those goals, you can take the picture down and replace it with another that you would like to have. If you already have a good home, then maybe you could put up brochures of a dream vacation that you would like to take someday.
Motivating yourself to get in that home office and work on your small business all day while you are still at home isn’t very easy, either. This is especially true if you are constantly doing the same things day in and day out. You need to change some things up now and then in order to keep your spirits high and not feel like you are a slave in your own home. You can try and take on some side work that has nothing to do with what your business is all about. Just be sure you can handle the extra work, though.
Anything that you can do to make changes in your day every once-in-a-while will help you out immensely and give you that renewed energy that you need to get through yet one more day of working on growing your small business alone. If you can turn your work day into something on the fun side, then being motivated is no longer an issue because you are going to want to have fun anyway. That is why a lot of new technology companies have open offices with games and social areas to be utilized. Music is also a great way to keep your motivation high!
Women in business who stay motivated and are passionate about their products and services are more likely to achieve and maintain a positive mindset even when they have achieved the success they are aspiring for in their business Women entrepreneurs can also join organizations like MACsWomen and take mini breaks to connect with like-minded women during the work day! When all else fails... Get dressed up!
New women business owners must come to a conclusion as to what prices you are going to charge for either services or products that you are offering to the public. This can be a fairly easy process for some who have no compassion about how people are reacting to the current financial crisis happening around the world. But to the rest of the small business population, deciding on how much you should charge is something that might be keeping you awake at night and filling you with stress.
You must determine how much money you want to earn. (Download Worksheet)
Another key ingredient for deciding on price is researching what other businesses similar to yours and offering similar services are charging. Now, bigger corporations will usually have a high price for their products because they have a higher overhead to deal with. Of course, they will also have the name branding that goes along with being a major company to help them set a higher price that people will actually pay. For example: you wouldn't buy a smartphone that someone built it in their bedroom out of junk parts for the same price as you would an iPhone, would you? Similarly, you decide on whether to ask for higher end pricing based on the research you've conducted for similar brands. For example some consultants charge $150 per hour and others charge $500 per hour. You decide.
You will also have to take into account how much money people are saving these days. The financial crisis is taking its toll on a lot of people in the world and some people don’t have the same amount of money to spend on things that might be considered more frivolous these days. Their immediate needs such as food, electricity, and other necessities are much more important than an eBook on how to raise chinchillas for fun and profit, unless, of course, they are interested in raising chinchillas.
If you are offering a service that is needed, like debt relief tips, economic counseling, business consulting or some other aspect that will help people, then they will be more inclined to pay a higher price, unless they can find it cheaper through someone else. You will need to take all of this into consideration when you are determining what prices you should charge for your services.
When considering prices you should also have a clear understanding of how much money YOU need to make for your own living expenses as well as to operate a profitable business, with some room for negotiation, if necessary With that said, don’t be afraid to lower your prices if you don’t get many people paying you when you first start out. They may want to use your services, but they don’t have the kind of money you are asking for to spend.
If you do lower your prices as a new business owner and find that more people are interested in what you are offering, then you can start to make a name for yourself in your industry. Once word gets out that your services are professional or your products are of high quality, then more people will want to spend money with you and eventually you can raise your prices a little at a time until you are back up to your optimum price. It’s a difficult game to get involved with if you aren't sure where you want to be in the future. Consider carefully what the bottom-line, mid-rage and high-range revenue amounts are that you need each month for your personal expenses and to operate a successful business. Your honoring yourself, your business and your clients!
On Tuesday, we asked over 10,000+ MACs Women in Business email subscribers, which social media platform they wanted to learn more about as market research for our upcoming series of social media e-books. The overwhelming response was Facebook! Twitter was the second option. With that information, we will be publishing the Facebook e-book as the first offer in the series. To receive an email with the inside scoop about our social media e-book series click here, select social media training option. We will email you the details! But, why Facebook?...
It is safe to say that more and more women smart, entrepreneurs are making an investment and learning about positioning their business effectively in the digital space. With that said, let's take a look at some stats that makes Facebook the #1 social media platform that's revolutionizing the way companies are doing business online these days!
Seven eye-opening stats about Facebook:
With stats like those listed above, Facebook is certainly a social media platform that smart women business owners are utilizing to connect with their target audience and grow their business. In our upcoming social media training series, we will be sharing information on the steps to take to ensure that you are not making the mistakes that some small businesses make when interacting on Facebook. Understanding things like posting frequency and timing, cross-platform approach and learning how to activate your fans are just some of the areas that will be covered in our upcoming Facebook training ebook for women in business.
If you are any bit overwhelmed by social media and would like to have one-on-one support, simply send us an email (info @ macswomen.com) with your contact information and we will do the rest. If you are a woman in business, we invite you to like our fan page at www.facebook.com/macswomengroup. Looking forward to interacting with you there!
Business Woman Why Should You Go It Alone? We've all heard that having business mentors can help a woman in business develop yourself and grow your company. But what is it exactly that these mentors can do for you? How can they help you move your company along?
Knowing exactly how you want your mentors to help you move forward can help you find the motivation to find these mentors, as well as give you the fire you need to ask your potential mentors for help in a compelling way.
Here are the five main benefits of having a business mentor.
Benefit #1: How to Structure Your Company
Most entrepreneurs don't spend a lot of time thinking about how to structure their company. Yet most mentors will insist on making sure you have your business structure correct from the beginning. They've made structuring mistakes in the past and paid for it. This is not a mistake they want you to also make in your business.
Do you have a solid options plan in place? Do you have iron clad operating agreements between all your partners? Are you operating with a legal entity that minimizes your personal risk and reduces the amount of taxes you need to pay? These are all structuring questions mentors can help with.
Benefit #2: Avoid Mistakes Others Made
Mentors will be able to tell you about mistakes that others in your industry have made. They've been around the block longer and know the pitfalls well. Think about how much time and resources you will save knowing what mistakes you could avoid in your business.
Benefit #3: Learn to Hire the Right People
Building a top-notch team is one of the most important factors to success in business. But how exactly do you do it? How do you attract employees to come work for you? How do you build a corporate culture? How do you inspire people?
Mentors can help you with this elusive aspect of your business.
Benefit #4: Investments & Exits
Investments and exits are some of the trickiest negotiations in business. Without someone experienced to guide you through the process, there's a very good chance you'll make big mistakes.
How should you value your company? How important is it that you get some liquidation preferences? If investors want the right to hire an outside CEO, what should you say?
With acquisitions, how important are the terms versus the raw price? How do you value non-cash acquisitions, such as equity deals or performance based deals? What kind of earn out plan is fair?
Most first time business women simply can't answer these questions without outside help. Having great mentors will help you through these important processes.
Benefit #5: Think Big
Mentors can help you think outside of your regular bubble. If you're regularly only thinking at the $100,000 a year level, mentors can help you think at the $1 million a year or $10 million a year level.
If you've never tasted success, it's hard to imagine or plan for massive success. Mentors on the other hand can help you see and plan that far ahead.
These are some of the many reasons why women in business need to get mentors in their business.