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From The Publisher

The 4 R’s

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t’s been a busy, exciting time at Today’s Innovative Woman! We hosted our 5th SUCCESS Summit in Los Angeles with almost 200 people! We presented our 3rd Annual Innovative Woman in Business Awards (see page 28)! We launched our new book publishing program to help you become a co-author in a best-selling book! And we announced our special workshop – Event Success Secrets: Plan, Present and Profit from your own live event, to be held December 6th & 7th in Los Angeles, and also virtually from your office! As we come to the close of the year, it is a time to review, reflect, renew and revitalize for the new year! And honestly, that is the order in which it needs to be done too!

Review: Review your products, services and programs. Where did you make money? What worked, what didn’t? Open the books, and look at the bottom line. Survey your customers- what do they want more of, and what can they live without? We really should be reviewing on a regular basis and making adjustments, but now is the time to review the full year and adjust where needed. Reflect: Now that you know what worked successfully and what didn’t live up to your expectations, reflect upon what it was you loved doing and what became a chore. Where did you feel excitement and total satisfaction? What fulfilled your passion, and what left you drained? Renew: This means not only taking some time for yourself during the holidays to renew your own spirit, but renewing your commitment to the programs, products and services you have identified in the previous steps. How can you make them better? What might you need to tweak or adjust? And what are you going to let go of? Revitalize: What new things are you going to offer to revitalize you and your business? This could be additions to existing programs, totally new products, or a new marketing tool. What are you going to do to revitalize your business for the new year, giving it and you that fresh energy and excitement for 2014? By following this process of the 4 R’s now, during a time period that is typically slower and can be spent away from your office, you will set yourself up to kick off 2014 with a bang, rather than a push-start! Being ahead of the game in business allows for great success! Wishing you and your family a wonderful, magical holiday season!

To your SUCCESS!

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IN THIS ISSUE All About You

All About Business

22 Three Simple Steps to Better Decision Making

8 Catapult Your Revenue With Group Programs

28 Do We Want to Be Overwhelmed?

10 Do You Have Clout, or Rather Klout?

12 Three Simple Tips That Make A Difference in Your Website’s Performance 18 Ali Brown, The Entrepreneurial Guru for Women 16 Discover How to Build a Business Model That Will Take 20 Innovative Woman in You to Six Figures and Beyond Business Awards Winners

All About Success

24 How Did Your Business Do This Year? 26 What is WordPress and Why Does My Business Need It? Subscribe for FREE at www.TodaysInnovativeWoman.com

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All About Business

Catapult

Your Revenue with Group Programs

by Caterina Rando, MA, MCC

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ne of the best revenue streams to add to any service business is a group program because it provides great value and is more affordable to the client. Plus, there is a huge bonus to the people in a group program—they get to connect with other like-minded people who are working on building similar skills. The community you create for them allows them to gain additional support, advice, opportunities, trusted alliance partners and even clients. You do not have to get tons of training or a certification to start providing group programs. For example, if you are an image consultant you can lead a group for women and teach them how to how to create their own personal sense of style. If you are a productivity coach, you can educate your group about best practices, then guide them into implementing the strategies that will work best for them. Here are a few questions to answer to get started: 1. What is the focus or purpose of the group? 2. Is it going to be a group that meets weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly? 3. How many people do you want to have in the group? 4. What kind of group is it going to be? (support, mastermind, training program) 5. What is going to happen in your group? 6. Where and when will your group meet? These questions will get you started. Too often, I see entrepreneurs waiting to be ready before they begin. Your first group is rarely your best one, or your most profitable. That is why you offer an introductory price. When you hold your first group session, pay attention to what you want to do differently the next time. Keep upgrading your program until you feel it is outstanding.

Caterina Rando shows ambitious women how to be loud and proud about the value they bring in order to make their businesses thrive. She is a master certified coach, business strategist and creator of the Sought After Speaker Summit http://soughtafterspeaker.com and The Business Breakthrough Summit http:// bizbreakthrough.com Check these sites for more business building ideas. You can reach Caterina at (415) 668-4535 or via email at info@caterinspeaks.com.

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All About Business

Do You Have Clout, or Rather by Debbie Saviano

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ocial media is pretty much a given these days. Business professionals and entrepreneurs alike recognize the importance of utilizing social media for expanding their client base. Social media is where we connect, network and build relationships in virtual space. Having a strong on-line presence, or influence, is an integral component in doing business today. 1. Over 70% of buying decisions are based on “recommendations / reviews”. 2. PULL marketing is the acceptable means of doing business; no one wants to be “sold to”. 3. SOCIAL MEDIA is the most obvious place to develop relationships with those who need services or products.

talk about online, as well as the “interaction / engagement” of your network. Think of yourself, the things you talk about, SM platforms coupled with how others respond to you. This = KLOUT score. Do you have KLOUT? Are you aware of the weight KLOUT carries? Are you a speaker or planning to be? KLOUT is ALL about on-line influence, your influence. More and more, speakers are being asked to include their KLOUT scores when submitting speaking proposals; conference organizers are interested in how much influence You have.

In 2009, KLOUT, a social media measurement tool, was first introduced. In the beginning, its overall significance was unclear. In 2012, Forbes Magazine warned of the misconceptions of using KLOUT, it stated that you are in for a roller coaster ride as Your KLOUT score vacillates.

• How many social media platforms are you actively on? • Is there an audience which you engage with and vice versa? • How consistent are you, and how often does the interaction take place? • Influence drives action, meaning people are interested. You might be asking yourself if indeed KLOUT is worth your time and attention.

KLOUT gives a Score from 1-100 based on the variety of TOPICS you

Only time will tell if KLOUT is beneficial for you. It only takes a few minutes

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to sign up, and then you can step away. Waiting might be a hindrance to you professionally, especially, if you wish to speak. Think about it, hopefully, You will sign up today for KLOUT (www.Klout.com ) Now the value is in social media engagement, which = YOUR KLOUT! Debbie Saviano is a solopreneur whose daily mantra is to “help professionals take action and create an online presence by developing, nurturing and maintaining relationships.” Debbie utilizes social media to connect, network and engage with others. She is an advocate for “continuing the conversations”. Thanks to the internet highway, borders are no more; people can interact and communicate around the globe. Professionals from across the country call Debbie for her unique skill set in designing LinkedIn profiles & Pinterest platforms aimed at engagement and retention toward a target market. Debbie also provides business solutions to small businesses who seek to utilize social media to enhance their brand, improve skills of their employees, expand social proof and establish an online presence.

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All About Business

Three Simple Tips That Make a Big Difference in Your Website’s Performance by Linda Cotter

W

hen it comes to the technical side of your website, you may get easily overwhelmed. Understanding what you need in simple terms can help when planning your website. Here are three things that will make a big difference in attracting and keeping visitors on your site. 1. Have a Secure Hosting Platform If your hosting platform is not reliable and your site goes down, you could have a loss of revenue. Your potential customers will not be able to learn about, or purchase your products and services. The wrong hosting company can have a negative effect on your SEO ranking as well. If your site is down repeatedly when search engines are attempting to visit, then your ranking will be adversely affected. While there is no perfect solution for keeping your website secure, a reputable web hosting company will back up your data on a remote server, and make it easy for you to restore it in case your site is hacked. 2. Know The Basics of SEO Your website won’t do you much good if no one can find it! That’s where SEO comes in. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the simple process of ensuring that a website can be found in search engines by using words and phrases relevant to what your site offers. That means using the correct keywords throughout your

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text, putting in plenty of links, naming your page titles and URLs correctly, and employing the magic of images and videos. Great content and quality links will make your site the kind of site the search engines will show in search results. 3. Have a Website That is Easily-Navigated It is important that your navigation is clearly laid out with links to the most important pages. This is crucial for guiding your potential clients to the information they seek. Think about using drop-downs in the navigation menu so the visitor can see the content under every heading, from any page. You want to make it very easy for your visitors to find what they are looking for and what you want them to know.

November/December 2013


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All About Business

Discover How To Build A Business Model That Will Take You To 6 Figures And Beyond by Veronica Drake

A

business model does exactly what a GPS does - helps you get where you are going with less confusion!

Why do you need a business model? The simplest answer is so you can clearly define “how you plan to make money”. Your business model is a series of questions and answers. Here is a list of simple questions that will produce powerful results: • Who is your target customer? SPECIFICALLY • What problem or challenge do you solve for your customer? Get clear on their problem • Why is it important to them? • What value do you deliver? Tip - Think of RESULTS that your product or service delivers • How will you reach, acquire, and keep customers? Who will you align yourself with? • How will you define and differentiate your offerings? • How will you generate revenue? A well thought out business model will help you understand where the business is experiencing difficulties. Creating a sound business model is the first step to building a successful living. In my world, I cannot get enough simple. I’m telling you that it’s ok if your model is written on one half-page of paper. Simplifying your thoughts does not mean you are careless or leave things out. It means you are CLEAR about what you want, and you concisely deliver it. Having a well defined business model will give you a tremendous competitive advantage. Weak or poorly thought out models can cause your business to fail, even if the products or services offered are outstanding.

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The core concept of a business model is the value that you and your company will provide to customers. The business model looks at the strength of these benefits from the point of view of potential customers. The customer has a problem, or a need, which you and your company will address with its products or services. The benefits must be so powerful that customer demand is created.

Veronica Drake is an internationally acclaimed intuitive business strategy consultant. She works with heart inspired women entrepreneurs who are fast paced and creative and are ready to let go of all the distractions holding them back. She specializes in helping them create clarity around their niche and their marketing message so that they can plan, produce and profit with ease. Visit her website at www.VeronicaDrake.co.

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All About Success

Ali Brown

The Entrepreneurial Guru for Women

I

n her late 20’s, Ali Brown found herself living in a tiny 5th floor New York apartment working for an advertising agency. She wasn’t making much, didn’t feel like she fit in and was questioning her future. “I knew at that young age there had to be another answer” said Ali. That answer came when a freelancer visited the office and she asked him how he was doing it, he answered, ending with “you can do it too”. “He raised my awareness. You will find all of the shifts in your life are typically because something or someone came into your realm of awareness; and once you become aware of something, your life will never be the same. You can choose to respond to it, or you can choose to ignore it.” Ali knew she couldn’t stay where she was, so she quit her job to begin a new path. “Day 1 was terrifying yet so exciting. I began my business based on my #1 value – freedom” said Ali. “I feel that women start a business to align with their values. It could be our top value or a set of values (ie. Freedom, family and finances), but it’s aligned with who we are.” She knocked on doors, attended networking events and “showed up ready to do whatever it took”. Ali shared, “I took odd jobs and strange projects to make some cash and get through to the next week. You have to be willing to do what it takes, even if it’s hard – and that is where most people stop. “

You have to be willing to do what it takes, even if it’s hard... ~ Ali Brown

Ali has certainly faced challenges, but her biggest is growing her business as fast as she is growing, and changing it as fast as she is changing. “Believing in myself is a challenge. The battle is with that little voice saying who are you to do what you do, that same voice that many of us battle.” Ali commented, that voice never really goes away, but as we grow and become aware of it, we are able to have a different conversation and quiet that inner voice.

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How does Ali define success? “For me, success is two-fold. First, it’s about having choices, especially now after having the twins. I think the question of ‘can we have it all’ could be put to rest if we just realize that success is for each of us to have the choice to do what we want. The choice to work from home, work in corporate, have a nanny, be a stay at home mom. Many women in the world don’t have those choices” said Ali. “Second, it’s about having a company related to who I am, centered around my purpose and my passion and what I can bring out into the world.” When asked what was one thing she wished she knew when she began, she answered a resounding “always trust myself. When I look back at times where I went against myself, most of those times I should have listened to my own intuition. Intuition is like a muscle and it builds. Start with small decisions, make a note or write in a journal what you are really feeling and go back and revisit the outcome ”. Ali’s life is certainly shifting and I was excited to ask her about the twins. “18 months ago, I was single and remember feeling successful, but would come home to an empty house. I felt like I had it all, but I also felt something was missing. I was praying for the right man to come along”, said Ali. “The babies were a beautiful surprise. I wasn’t trying, but I wasn’t not trying either. Suddenly, all your dreams come true at once. I want women to know, especially successful women, it can be challenging and take longer for the right partner to come into your life, but I trusted and prayed.” Ali shared with me “After a recent business trip, I pulled into the driveway and it was that magical time of day, during twilight, and the lights were on in the house and I could see Brett and my mom bathing the babies and I began crying, realizing I really do have it all.” Ali admits it took some time to get the “business brain” back, and that she needs to be ten times more organized. “Somehow, someway, you must carve out uninterrupted time for your business”, suggests Ali. “There may be times when this is impossible, but maybe you can trade kids with a neighbor on certain days or work while they are in pre-school. You don’t need a nanny. But you must have focused time for your business to grow.” What makes Ali Brown an innovative woman? I can think of hundreds of things that makes her innovative, but her answer, “I make decisions not from where I am, but from where I want to be.” And that says it all. In my mind, Ali wouldn’t be the innovative “entrepreneurial guru for women” if she had made decisions from fear and playing small. “This is our time,” said Ali. “Never has there been a time where we have so much access to technology and the freedom that it brings – to work from anywhere. You can change your world; it’s full of possibility and whatever type of success you want to claim for yourself.”

I have been blessed to work with Ali over the last few years. She has been a mentor and

a coach to me. I was even a finalist in her MPC Platinum Excellence Awards in 2011. Her business ideas and principles have helped me grow my business and become a CEO full of possibilities and making decisions from where I want to be. She offers many programs, including Elevate. You can get her program details at bit.ly/tiwelevate or visit her site at AliBrown.com.

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All About Success

And the

Winners Are...

Congratulations again to the 13 finalists and 5 winners in the

3rd Annual Innovative Woman in Business Awards! Today’s Innovative Woman recognizes women who are making a difference in the business world with these annual awards, showcasing those who followed a dream and created a reality.

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Patsy Anderson\ Innovative Woman of the Year

Nicole Denison Mom Entrepreneur of the Year

Katie Bressack

Start Up Entrepreneur of the Year

Doreen Dove

Visionary Entrepreneur of the Year

Sally Short

Product Based Business Entrepreneur of the Year

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All About You

Three Simple Steps to Better Decision Making by Joy Chudacoff

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ne of the biggest challenges I see people struggle with is making decisions. There’s this burning need inside of us to avoid making a mistake when it comes to choosing one over the other. The key is to know when a decision really matters (“should I marry this guy?”), or when it is a mere blip on the screen of your life (“What should I have for dinner?”). I too have had my share of sleepless nights over the “yes or no” of life, however over the years, I’ve developed a process that I take myself through when it’s time to ground myself in a decision:

1. Batman & Commissioner Gordon When I was a little girl, I loved watching Batman and I marveled at how one call on the red phone with Commissioner Gordon would solve everything - it was magic! When I’m struggling with a decision, I reach out to my mentors and trusted advisors to get their read on the situation. Having a solid, success-oriented group of trusted advisors just a phone call away makes decision making much easier. 2. The Five Year Question – When I’m faced with a decision, I ask “Will this affect me or my family in five years?” For example, making decisions about your estate plan or family trust could have consequences five

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years from now, so it requires solid, grounded thinking. The decision about whether to buy a pair of hot new shoes that aren’t on sale won’t really affect you one way or another long-term, so I say go for it. : -) 3. Check your intuition – I saved this one for last. After I’ve spoken with my trusted sources and asked myself the five-year question, I always check-in with my intuition. If you practice presence in your life and continue to hone your intuitive skills, your intuition will never steer you wrong when it comes to choosing what’s right for you. Saying “Yes” means saying “No” to something else, which can set off fear of loss and uncertainty in our lives. However, I’ll share a secret with you; money likes speed, and good things come to those who harness the power of decision making.

November/December 2013


Joy Chudacoff is Heralded as “The Coach for Women” in the millennium, Joy Chudacoff has x-ray vision when it comes to helping women discover their Big Ideas, Dreams and Goals! Joy draws on both her personal life and entrepreneurial experiences to support women in achieving better ways of living. It’s her passion, her purpose and her business. She is a Professional Certified Coach, highly skilled group leader, motivational speaker and a gifted communicator. Visit Joy’s website, SmartWomenSolutions.com, where you’ll find more articles plus information about her Women’s Success Circles, Smart Women Smart Solutions Coach Certification Programs, Speaking engagements, teleclasses and upcoming events for women. Joy can be reached at 310-454-2005 or by email, Joy@SmartWomenSolutions.com.

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All About Business

How Did Your Business Do This Year? by Candy Messer

It’s just shy of the end of the year. It’s time to review what happened in your business and see if any changes are needed to meet your goals. Based on what you find, you can make adjustments to prepare for a change in taxes due based on your profitability. If you set a goal for the business in terms of revenue, how did you do in relationship to that figure? If you will meet your goal, that’s great! How much over your goal will you be? Is this going to impact your taxes? Do you need to alter your estimated tax payments (if you currently have to file) to avoid owing a large amount later? Do you need to make equipment purchases or invest in other larger expenses you’ve been postponing to offset your profits? Now may be the time to consider making those purchases. Of course, talk to your CPA before making this decision to see if now is the best time to spend those dollars. But maybe you’re finding that you aren’t on track to meet your goal. This can be due to sales being lower than expected, costs higher than expected, or a combination of the two. Look at where you are spending money and see if there is a way to reduce some of these costs. Contact vendors to request a discount for paying more quickly, see if there is a way to run a process more efficiently (and therefore reduce the time or costs associated with the

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task), or see if the rates you are charging for your products and/or services are too low and need to be increased. If you’ve been too busy to do your bookkeeping and you don’t have this information handy, it may be time to consider partnering with a bookkeeping company to assist you. Knowing your numbers is important in your decision making and goal setting for 2014.

Candy Messer: Candy Messer is President of Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll Services and energizes business owners by removing the burden of the bookkeeping and payroll processing from their shoulders. With 15 years of experience, Candy understands the stresses business owners face and offers customized services to meet their varying needs, including bookkeeping, payroll, Quickbooks consulting, and bill pay services. Candy works with service based business owners who are overwhelmed with the paperwork required to stay in compliance for filings and frees them to focus on what they love to grow their businesses. Visit her website at www.abandp.com for more information.

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All About Business

What is and Why Does My Business Need It? by Jennifer Bourn Every week we speak to potential clients about designing new websites for their businesses, and at least one third of those prospects have never heard of WordPress. This article will help you understand what WordPress is, why it is so powerful, why it is growing so rapidly, and why you need to take it seriously. What Is WordPress? WordPress is free, open source software that is used to create powerful websites and blogsites of all sizes, from a hobby blog, to a multi-million dollar media site like the New York Times. Are There Different Kinds of WordPress? Yes! The software is available through WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.org provides you the software to use in your own hosting account which you purchase from a WordPress hosting company with your own domain name. Using WordPress.org is like buying your own house. You can do anything you want to it. You can remodel, paint, tear down walls, landscape, etc. You’re in charge and you can do it yourself or hire contractors to take care of it for you. WordPress.com is where they take care of the technical details. You can sign up to have a free website, and for only $18 per year, use your own domain name. Using WordPress.com is like renting a site from a giant apartment complex of websites. You can do some customization but not a lot, and you benefit from their team of people who maintain and take care of it for you.

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Why Do I Need WordPress? WordPress acts as a content management system (CMS), which allows you, the website owner, to log in to your website and manage the content. With a WordPress powered website, you can edit the content, add images, videos and audios, add pages, remove pages, change your navigation menus, publish blog posts, connect your site to social media sites, and much more. Or, if you don’t want to do it yourself or don’t have time, you can easily find a service provider to support you.

Jennifer Bourn is the brand strategist, WordPress website designer, and graphic designer behind the award-winning branding and web design firm Bourn Creative, LLC near Sacramento, California. Bourn Creative helps successful entrepreneurs who are frustrated with their brand and website transform their marketing materials and their business into an extraordinary and lucrative brand through a combination of speaking, consulting, and done-for-you services. Learn more at www.bourncreative.com.

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27


All About You

Do We Want to Be “Whelmed”?

by Bibi Goldstein

E

ven though my husband says this a lot as a joke, I often think about the fact that the two concepts “Underwhelmed” and “Overwhelmed”, should really have something in-between them. We are often underwhelmed in our life as entrepreneurs. We go to listen to speakers we feel are going to ignite something in us, to get us to that next level, and many times we walk away feeling like they just put our fire out, or that we have more fire in us than they do. They fail to impress or excite us, which is the very definition of underwhelm. Maybe the toughest place to feel underwhelmed is when we choose to work with someone, and the results are less than impressive. That feeling that you just wasted so much time, and potentially money, is enough to stop many of us in our tracks, especially if we experience this time and again. Then there’s the flip-side for many entrepreneurs, and that is being overwhelmed. Wearing all the hats to keep their business running, working long days, in a constant state of doing – sound like someone you know?

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When we are given an excessive amount of something, anything it becomes too overwhelming for many of us. One of my favorite quotes about being overwhelmed is by Jonathan Lockwood Huie – “Feeling overwhelmed by apparent demands on our time is like going to a restaurant, ordering everything on the menu, and complaining about indigestion.” Portion control is not only about the food we eat. There are many clichés like “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”. We want it all, and we will have it all, even if it destroys us. We need to practice portion control in our businesses as well. I’m not exactly sure that I want to be just whelmed either, given that I don’t find the definition very different than that of overwhelmed, except that it quite literally means drowning; to

November/December 2013


Are you frustrated with feeling like you ar much but still broke and things are just n

Do you have the correct business founda your business so that it can run and grow

Does it feel like your team just can’t get a everything in place in time?

Are you leveraging your current systems continued growth?

be submerged or engulfed in water. Find the opportunities to say no and prioritize. Building your business somewhere between underwhelmed and overwhelmed could mean the difference between success and failure.

Or are you like the many business owner are throwing money at the wall, just tryin

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http://automateyourbiz.biz Bibi started Buying Time with a friend to give everyone the opportunity to have access to support and assistance with any task. With over 22 years in the transportation/logistics industry Bibi has specific experience in space and time efficiencies through Six Sigma training for warehouses from 1,000 to 30,000+ square feet. This provided her the ability to visualize the final outcome even when the client cannot. Bibi recently co-authored “Get Organized Today” with other organizing experts hoping to reach out and help more people. Bibi can be reached at www.buyingtimellc.com.

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Today’s Innovative Woman P.O. Box 3893, Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Today's Innovative Woman magazine, November/December 2013  

A magazine for women entrepreneurs with tips, tools and resources. This issue features Ali Brown.