I know that it has been quite some time but I have been busy – as all entrepreneurs are. I wanted to have a quick word about technology and the importance of technology to all ventures regardless of size. When I coach especially small business owners and micro- entrepreneurs they never contemplate how technology can be integrated into their ventures. I am doing more work in this space – technology entrepreneurship and leveraging technology in entrepreneurship, and so I wanted to share the top 3 reasons to leverage technology in your business no matter how small or large. Technology is the silent partner in your business.
Technology can help you attract business – the world is now a very digital one, and until you build up enough of a cult following or your niche is so specialized that people seek you out, you will need to use technology to grab customers. How? Well of course we can all think of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. The ones you employ will be determined by your target market and the nature of your product and service. However, there are other technology driven methods to attract customers such as newsletters and even mass SMS messages. Technology allows you to reach more people in more diverse places and spaces.
Technology can help you improve operational efficiency – great you have customers and you are making some money! So how do you keep everything organized, keep track of expenses, revenues, invoices, etc – through technology of course. The shoe box method has died, instead you can use various productivity applications to minimize the time spent on routine tasks. There are many free applications for invoicing, accounting, scheduling, and any other “ing” you can think of. Check out my blog post on some finance productivity apps you can use here.
Technology can help you retain customers – customers need engagement to continue doing business with you – there are a number of chat bots (automated customer service) and customer relationship management tools that allow you to maintain customer service engagement and help you to capture data that you can use to truly understand the behaviors of your customer and keep them hooked on your product or service. Check out customer service solutions like Grasshopper, and Hubspot.
Your goal – choose one area where you think technology can help you grow your business, ten identify a technology solution and see how it works! Good luck. Do share!
I have been so dedicated to my side hustles and they have really allowed me to improve the quality of my life. I am launching the Side Hustle Program. A six week online coaching program dedicated to helping you conceptualize, build/grow your side hustle. Classes will be conducted via live video conference with recordings available of each class. Practical sessions are customized to each attendee’s business and one on one feedback is provided on your business concept.
Weeks 1-2- Ideation. These weeks will be dedicated to refining your business idea to ensure that it aligns, with your passion, skills, market needs and is innovative.
Weeks 3-4 – The Business Model . Weeks 3 and 4 will be focused on using the international standard of the business model canvas to plan the strategy and key components that will provide the foundation for your business’ success.
Weeks 5-6 -Proof of Concept. The final two weeks of the program we will be validating your idea. We will create an action plan for you to get your first paying customers using the business model as your guide.
Begin Building your Side Hustle Today.
Class begins on November 1st. Cost is $350 USD. Pay in full and pay $249 USD. Payment Plans Available. Register below. Only ten slots available.
The program is for you if:
you want to start a side hustle – keep your day job and make money on the side
you have a business idea but not certain if it will work
you are confident in your business idea but need someone to help you with your business idea
Prior to November 1st pay USD $150
November 30th USD $100
By December 13th $100 USD
Complete the form below if you have any questions to register and I will respond in 24 hours.
I know that many of you have needs that my coaching packages may not met and so I am offering virtual office hours. Let us set a time and date and let me help you meet your goals or discuss how e can work together. Hit the Contact us button to send me a message. View my services below and book your time with me. Message for schedule and rates.
As promised I said this would be No Nonsense November where I will be giving you the real deal about entrepreneurship. It is important as a New Year approaches and you craft new goals that you be honest about your entrepreneurial journey. I know that when you scroll through your Facebook and Twitter feeds and longingly gaze at the images on Instagram of entrepreneurs who say they are making it big, raking in the dough, have no bills only wealth – you wonder, what is wrong with me?
The answer is NOTHING. The answer is that entrepreneurship is a journey and not an easy one at that. The myth of easy wealth through entrepreneurship is just that – it is a myth. No one posts the:
Failed projects where they didn’t make a dime or even lost money on an idea they swore was the best
The low bank balances, maxed out credit cards as they struggle to survive
The moments of despair when they wonder if they should have left their jobs or feel resigned to giving up on their side hustle
Entrepreneurship is not a savior. In fact, as an entrepreneurship educator one of the most pervasive myths is that entrepreneurs are rich – some are and some hope to be – but entrepreneurship looks different to everyone. Your job this No Nonsense November is to be honest about:
Your goals: If you want to be wealthy declare so. If you are happy being comfortable that is fine. If you only want work-life balance – that is what you want
Now that you are honest then you must set tasks to move you towards that goal. For instance – if your goal is to be wealthy then you must invest time and when you can money, into your business – be single minded
Accept that the journey to your goal is unpredictable, and not a straight path. The acceptance will allow you to emotionally manage your setbacks
It is time to get serious an adopt a No Nonsense and realistic attitude towards entrepreneurship.
I know I have been very busy and you have not heard from me in a while. However, I have been doing what I love – coaching entrepreneurs. I was privileged to have served as a coach for the PitchIt Caribbean 2017 edition sponsored by the World Bank. This time the event was held in my home country of St. Kitts. I had the enviable task of coaching six of the 25 Caribbean entrepreneurs with lead coach Sergio Escobar of Montreal, Canada. I was thrilled to note the innovation, willingness to embrace change, and to endure useful critique exhibited by these entrepreneurs.
If you are an entrepreneur considering entering a pitch competition, here are my top 5 tips for pitching successfully:
Develop a thick skin – pitch competitions, accelerators, and incubator programs generally have a mentorship or coaching component. Remember, listen to your coaches and mentors and do not take it personally when you are critiqued. Instead, clarify, learn, and modify. Businesses are not static entities and coaches and mentors have an objective lens coupled with experience with which to view your business. They are trying to help not hurt.
Ensure your business model is sound – if your business model is not sound then all assumptions and hypotheses will also be shaky. Understand the elements of your business model. Here is a previous post on the business model to assist. I also offer business model guidance.
Understand your market thoroughly – you should have an intimate knowledge of your competitors locally, regionally, and virtually. Drill down into your target market – is it a business or an individual consumer? This is important distinction as the strategies to reach your ideal customer will be dependent on these two categorizations.
What is your value – this is critical. Why would the customer choose you? What value are you providing that others are not? This is why someone would consider investing – and more importantly this is what creates revenue.
Validate – judges want to know what have you done in terms of customer discovery. Remember everything included in your business model is a hypothesis. You have decided that 14 to 18 year old girls will be your target market. What have you done to validate this theory? Have you had focus groups? Have you conducted a survey? Even better have you sold anything to them?
I had the pleasure of being a speaker at a Transformational Fora Workshop. My topic #nurturingproductivity. I defined productivity as NOT being busy but instead making measurable steps towards the achievement of a goal. How can you be productive by giving undivided time and attention and an energy of intention to the goal. How can you be productive. Set a goal or two or three (max) and every day determine what tasks or actions you will take to meet these goals. All other work is busy work not productivity. So are you being productive?
So here are the steps:
Write down at MOST three clear goals. A clear goal should be concise, preferably measurable but definitely specific.
Review your goals daily.
Write down at MOST THREE tasks or actions you will complete that week or day to help you achieve those goal.
Repeat until goal achievement and bask in your productivity.
In my last blog post I shared some of the key findings off my ongoing research on the general topic of women and entrepreneurship as part of my Doctoral Studies. If you have not read that post do take a look here.
One of the findings of almost all researchers in the field of gender and entrepreneurship has been that women are establishing businesses in ever increasing numbers, their businesses remain in general much smaller than businesses male owned businesses. Why is that?
Well here are some of the reasons I have found in my review of more than 200 articles on the topic.
Women often enter entrepreneurship as a result of push factors. This simply means that women often had no entrepreneurial intentions, but instead have been pushed into entrepreneurship for a number of reasons including, unemployment and the desire for an improved work-life balance.
The small size of women’s business are often as a result of under-capitalization. Women begin their businesses with significantly less capital than men. Previous studies on why this occurs offer a diverse set of reasons. Some researchers have found that women are more risk averse than men and so borrow less and seek out less investment capital. Women perceive to a greater percentage than men that they are less likely to receive funding and so apply less often than men. It has also been found that women are often discriminated against by venture capitalists and lenders who are most often male.
Women’s businesses often remain small because women face societal demands that men do not. The demands of family and caretaking often limit the ability of women to grow their businesses as aggressively as men. In fact one study found that women who did engage in high growth entrepreneurship tended to be married/had now children. I know that I often have Mommy guilt and I have compromised growing as aggressively as I can because I felt that my children needed to be a priority – so this is a finding I have lived as a single parent.
I know, these findings are depressing if you are a female entrepreneur. The good news is that through my research I have also been able to determine strategies that female entrepreneurs can use to be successful in their ventures. In fact I am so passionate about it I created an entire webinar that outlines practical steps women can use to grow their businesses and combat these obstacles they face.
The webinar will:
Outline the top three reasons women entrepreneurs are not making big money in their businesses
Provide you with the TOP THREE most effective strategies to grow your sales and profits
Participants will receive a template to focus their actions to begin growing their sales immediately
The content can change the way you view and do business as a woman. I also want to help women succeed, the webinar is only $40USD and you receive lifetime access so you can review the content whenever you wish and worksheets to help guide your progress. To Learn more click here.
Do share this post with other female entrepreneurs in your life. Each one teach one. Register here
I have not been as regular a blogger as I would like – but it has been for a great reason. I am currently a Doctoral candidate specializing in Technology Entrepreneurship. My Doctoral topic focuses on strategies to assist women – minority women to obtain venture capital financing. However, the hundreds of articles and research studies I have read and analyzed thus far have provided me with significant knowledge on women and entrepreneurship in general. I intend to pass along my knowledge to you and provide you strategies and lessons so that you and I can be rockstars in our entrepreneurial journeys.
The Good News
Women are opening an increasing number of ventures. The percentage of women opening new businesses outpaces that of men. Women are taking the entrepreneurial leap and taking the risks to create their own wealth.
The Not So Good News
Women led businesses are smaller than those owned by men. The reason for this is complex but much of it relates to access and preference to financing, and the motivations for entering into entrepreneurship.
Women open their businesses with significantly less capital than men. The hundreds of research articles on female entrepreneurship mostly converge around the conclusion that women’s businesses are under capitalized and such often are less profitable. Once again there a myriad of reasons for this but one of the core reasons found by researchers in this stream of literature is the barriers faced by women when attempting to access financing.
Women do not often open businesses in high-growth sectors. The majority of women’s businesses are in service industries and not in high growth industries like technology, bio-technology, and energy. The latter sectors serve millions and are growing exponentially, creating wealth for those who enter those industries at significantly greater rate than low growth industries.
What is to be Done?
There are solutions some already known and others we can formulate as we learn more. I want to help you learn more and in the knowing we can grow together. Do share and follow.