Archive for June, 2012

Business start ups need this and so do business Neanderthals!

Regulars here will know that I rarely refer to or get involved with business start ups. In my experience they have so much on their plates with the day-to-day hassles of survival that it’s a little while before they come up for air, look around, and see what else is happening that they should maybe know about.

Well, to my mind, this is something that business start ups should get savvy on sooner rather than later.

I happen to believe it’s also really good for owners of small businesses that have been around for a while but still not really got their heads round how to handle the whole on line business presence.

These days, to ignore an effective on line presence is a potential, probable and, okay, I’ll stick my neck out ever so slightly, almost “written-in-the-stars” contribution to the route of said business ultimately disappearing down the drain…

What to do then, smarty-pants, Linda?

So glad you asked! :-)

As you’ll have gathered, this isn’t an area I work on – it’s not my experience or expertise. And my partner (who rarely gets mentioned in my posts here, and then only by oblique reference) works with small, but clearly focused, high value business owners and entrepreneurs.

However, a speciality of a friend of mine (whom I’ve known for several years) is helping new-to-the-web entrepreneurs and small businesses establish a presence that they can get to work for them. And it eases them gently and cost effectively into the process.

So, what do you need to do?

You may not need to do anything other than tell those of your mates who you recognise in my description above who might benefit from a free “session” with the Blogmistress.

Oh, down boys and girls, for heaven’s sake! :-)

Babs Saul is offering a free Blogmistress“>webinar on Wednesday 20th June at noon UK time. Now, it’s probable that all but the swiftest to respond will be too late to participate live on the day, but Babs is talking about making a recording available down the line a bit. So follow the link I’ve given you and get over there is my advice!

What’s it about?

I think it’s going to be fiendishly revealing… Well, I hope so!

Babs is great on how to get the best out of your website on a shoestring budget and optimising WordPress in ways most of us wouldn’t realise we could.

This isn’t part of an affiliate scheme

I don’t have anything against them and I’d probably happily join in with one I thought would be helpful to you to know about. With this it’s just that Babs mentioned what she was doing and I decided it could be useful either to you or people you know.

There is, I understand, an option to join a paying course that Babs is running: That’s up to you to decide about – you’ll have had the value of the freebie before you take that decision anyway… And Babs is no smooth-talking-sales hustler – Anything but! :-)

Hope this has been useful to you, and, as always, let me have your comments…

Thank you!

Linda


Is it really any tougher for women in business?

I hadn’t really thought much about challenges, issues or problems that might be specific to women setting up in business. I thought we were light years past all that “We’ll need your husband’s signature to guarantee your loan” malarky… yet a recent post on Birds made me ponder that well, maybe there are the odd things that we gels have to take into account and cope with that our male counterparts don’t…

I’ve already added some of my own points over there on a separate post that you can go and have a read of if you fancy, so I won’t repeat them here. Instead I’m just going to select and put my perspective on three of Ola’s 10 things ‘they’ didn’t tell you about being a woman in business…

Sisterhood?

No: Women aren’t always your best allies.

Maybe partly because I came from a commercial background as opposed to the public sector, I was perhaps more used to the “dog-eat-dog” attitude of some women in business – it isn’t nice (or necessary, in my opinion) but it certainly wasn’t the shock to me that it seems to have been to Ola… I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve come across enough not just single minded but hard bitten ladies from infant school onwards!

I think too nowadays maybe it’s less about long term formal partnerships and instead being on the lookout for and open to strategic and/ or tactical alliances that may be relatively brief yet nevertheless mutually beneficial and provide benefits for customers that would otherwise have been difficult (if not impossible) to achieve.

I think the issue here is more the importance of hanging out with the kind of people, male and female, who share similar values, ethics, interests and ideals.

Sexism isn’t dead!

Well there’s a surprise, yet I don’t believe I’m conscious of any more or less sexism as a female entrepreneur than as a female employee. Prior to the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act virtually all telesales staff in classified advertising were females and virtually all the reps were males. I suspect that the act probably didn’t so much wipe out the practice of sex discrimination so much as nudge it underground and force it to be less blatant.

Many years later when I was seeking to put together a team to carry out telephone marketing research for a client I was determined to be an equal opportunities employer. I recruited five men and five women to work part time. By the end of 2 weeks I’d sacked the guys and the women worked full time. Because they were better at getting that particular job done.

There are pluses and minuses regarding the looks department (none helped by that rather peculiar lady who made a name for herself recently in the UK press purely from having such a high opinion of her own looks…) and yes, I suppose there always will be the odd Neanderthal bloke who’ll behave like a pillock in the presence of a good looking woman. But if we’re going to bleat every time we come up against something that “isn’t fair” maybe we need to learn that’s just part of life…

Trying to be a man doesn’t work

Yes, it’s time to question the (mainly male-designed) business model that’s been followed by and large in the west for so long. But at the same time I believe we need to take care that the pendulum doesn’t swing too far in the opposite direction.

I am in entire agreement that there’s not only room but a need for both masculine and feminine qualities in business – from both men and women: it’s about balance more than anything else.

In my opinion there are way too many “bleeding hearts” who want to do good yet are hardly making enough money to survive – what good does that do the world? As I understand it, Mother Teresa wasn’t independently wealthy… yet do we really think she hadn’t got herself into a position of power and influence to drum up whatever backing she needed for her projects? And, whether or not you or I am a fan of hers, I wonder how many people were helped by her making the most of herself?

I don’t think there’s a nobility about choosing to be touchy-feely to the detriment of making a profit in business – to me that’s no better than its polar opposite: the old style entrepreneur-turned-corporate who’d use you and fleece you as soon as look at you!

I’ve always found the way around all three of these issues is to provide value that would be hard to match and well nigh impossible to beat! 😉

What are your views?


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