Thursday, April 15, 2010

Best Business Women's Tips

I love it when we can collaborate and contribute wisdom for the mutual benefit of all. This blog post is one of those times. Last week, our *BLING* newsletter put the call out for business women of faith to contribute their best tips based on their area of expertise. Read below for some great ideas, thoughts and strategies from this group of blessed women:

"Many companies budget for advertising. Consider factoring in customer service to that budget. Doing so will make it easier for you to feel good about offering an extra discount when an order is unexpectedly delayed or sending a free product as a "thank you for waiting" if the first order has an error and needs to be resent. I believe you will find that taking extra steps like this will work in much the same was as advertising in the long run but on a more personal level."
-by Heather Ledeboer, owner of

"Make room in your budget to use a professional graphic designer. It wouldn't cross our minds to attempt our own plumbing or mechanical work, so it is also advisable to seek professional help with something as important as business identity (which is presented to the world). Schedule an initial consultation with a designer who comes highly recommended, and bring the following information with you: Mission statement, values, target audience, and 3 descriptive adjectives about your business. Make sure you feel heard and that costs are communicated clearly and agreed upon. If your gut tells you to find another designer, then do it."
-by Trisha Ferguson, owner of

"The Lord speaks hundreds of times in scripture about the use of our mouths, tongues and lips. In Proverbs alone there are many quotes about how our lips and mouths show our wisdom or betray our ignorance. Communication is vital for business owners, but not only for marketing and interviews. Effective communication skills are necessary for leadership, building relationships and getting our ideas across. The more effective we are at communicating our vision, the more favorable terms we get from our suppliers, the more our customers find us, the more productive our employees or downline and the more we represent the Lord in all we do."
-by JoJo Tabares, owner of

"Women in creative arts businesses are often characterized as unorganized or chaotic. At some time, each of us probably experiences some chaos. Although chaos plays an important role in the creative process, and is fun for children, it hinders business effectiveness. Follow five steps and harness that chaos! Strategize by brainstorming ideas; Organize into S.M.A.R.T. goals; Arrange into an action plan; Harmonize with your existing business; Create accountability systems. This five-step process not only spells chaos in reverse but also turns it around and increases your positive influence as a business leader."
-by Marie M. Loeffler, Business Strategy Coach & President of The Organized Studio

"Shakespeare was right: all the world IS a stage and we are but players on it. First impressions carry a lot of weight, especially when you are networking. If you want to attract business, dress the part. If you show up in sweats or a cocktail dress (unless they are your business uniforms), you don't look very serious about your own career and you don't look like a likely partner for other business people in the room. Bring business cards, real business cards, on heavy stock paper with a logo, your business name and as much contact information as appropriate. Your smile and hand shake will last a few moments, but that business card will either be saved for later reference or be tossed at the end of the evening with the rest of the waste paper. Food, drinks, and handouts are props to help people interact. If the only people you talk to at the event are your best friends, you have gained nothing more than a free meal on someone else's budget. Bottom line: be a good steward of the talents you have and the time that others are sharing with you."
-by Carol Ann Davis, Financial Advisor, AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.,

"When starting an organization that you would like to make a difference and help others, find like minded individuals and also ones who have the same drive as yourself. It can be frustrating if you can sense God's anointing on your vision and others are wanting to sit idle. Find those who encourage you and inspire you and others to be a visionary to change this hurting world."
-by Roberta M Cykon Founder/Executive Director of Integrity Beauty International "Healing Hearts and Inspiring Lives"

"I want to encourage women to know they have permission to love themselves. Many women do not believe they can because of some past story in their life. Yet God says you can, because He made you valuable. He made you a 10/10 at conception. The stories of your life cannot take this truth away. Your stories are life-growth experiences, not self-value based experiences. Give yourself permission to genuinely love yourself, in spite of your life experiences. God does."
-by Karen Wells, M.Div., Karis Counselling Services - For women wanting hope, acceptance, and change today!

"Imagine your business is like a coin. There are two sides to this coin which requires your attention so you can create both a thriving life and prosperous business. One side represents discovering who you are authentically, including your values, purpose, mission and personal definition of success. The other side is about applying this insight into your daily life by establishing practical systems, like how to work with clients, ways to market your services and a schedule that leverages your time. When you address both sides, including the spiritual and the practical, you will achieve authentic success."
-by Shannon Bruce, PCC, Inner Wisdom Coaching Services, and

"When your in business for your self it is very important to maintain your priorities, and stick to them, I built my company around my morals; God first, Family second, career third. I never let business get in the way of family, and I always honor God for everything, including the bad. I start each day with a prayer and ask God to bless my journey in business as well as in life. If you stick to your priorities and stick to your work schedule that you created, it will all work together in harmony. Always honor God first and fore most with all. Always love your family then you career will fall into place..."
-by Brenda Kessler, President/CEO - Secret Shoppers Network LLC

"To stand out from the competition, regularly mail out notes of appreciation. Mary Kay Ash, Tom Hopkins and Joe Girard knew the value of this. Mary Kay of Mary Kay Cosmetics sent out hand-written notes every day and taught her sales team to do the same. Joe Girard, famous for selling the most automobiles in a twelve year period, sent out thousands of cards a month for any reason. We’ve lost the “art of card sending.” An email or e-card is not like receiving a warm, heart-felt card in the mail. Others will APPRECIATE YOU for REMEMBERING THEM!"
-by Patti Grunkemeier, Independent Distributor - Send Out Cards

"As we grow our business, there will always be ideas, goals, mistakes and different directions. Number one stumbling block for many business owners is not lack of money, lack of time or organizational issue. It is the moment when the fear overrides clarity. Give your mind a chance to clear and focus by combining physical activity that feels good to you (i.e. dance to one song) with mental reminder (i.e. read something that nourishes your passion as an entrepreneur). Use both sides of your brain."
-by Helena-Summer Medena, "Liv Delicious"

"As a personal wardrobe stylist I see multiple "orphans" in my clients' closets. You can avoid bringing home another orphan that will never be worn. When you are shopping and see a "bargain" that's just too good to pass up, ask yourself the question "would I pay full price for this?" If the answer is "NO" walk away."
-by Debby Sutherland, Distinct Style Solutions,

“For the past 8 years, I have done great housekeeping for residential customers and one commercial business through my Pride 'n' Polish housekeeping business. Hopefully some of my strategies will give you some ideas. When I arrive for a usual house cleaning, I always begin with the kitchen and the counterspaces, including the nearby eating areas. I intend to use the clean, unused towels and scrubbies first in the eating areas, and where we more frequently visit. I always show precedence for any food preparation or consumption areas, as these are directly effecting our health. My preferred product is "409 With Bleach" around the counterspaces and food prep areas. After making my way around the house, I conclude my jobs by vacuuming my "way out the door," so as to leave little or no footprints on the floors I would have already cleaned and/or spot-mopped.”
-by Deborah Lautt, owner of Pride ‘n’ Polish,

"Step one of building a website for your business is to decide on its purpose. Will it be used as an online brochure, as a sales letter, a place for people to interact, a gallery of images, to directly sell something, be like a directory or resources list, etc? Also, what is it exactly that you’d like your website visitors to do? That is called the “call to action.” By defining the site’s overall purpose and the call to action, those two will help to answer most of the questions from there on."
-by Krista Dunk, Koinonia Business Women

"I am from the central region of Uganda in East Africa, and for those who would wish to have useful literature from English to Luganda please save by contacting me. Also, the best way to be at peace if you have irritating colleagues in your business is to know that what you do not like about them is the unknown you. So, work on what you do not know about yourself and life will go on. "
-by Sarah Mujabi, Good Shepherd Mission

"Four quick tips to propel you to the top of the heap: 1. Lay a strong foundation in prayer before embarking on any business venture: Proverbs 3:4-5. 2. Give the LORD His due portion: Malachai 3:10. 3. Show sincere appreciation to all of your business contacts, including employees, and give thanks to the LORD daily for His provision: Ephesians 5:20-21. 4. Resond to all emails and phone calls ASAP."
-by Noreen Jacks, author and speaker

Thank you business women - we appreciate your wisdom and contribution! You are blessed and highly favored.

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