APRIL 2010 | £3.20
WMOA G M A N AZINE
INSPIRING SUCCESS STORY
STRIVE THRIVE SURVIVE How to push your business through a financial crisis
Interview with this month’s business guru
BUSINESS VS FAMILY Is there a balance?
Make your employees respect you
My BUSINESS WARDROBE COMPLETE
FINANCE * LIFESTYLE * BEAUTY * FAMILY * INVESTMENT
CO NTEN TS 1/2
Rebecca Ortelsberg tells us how women and
their business can strive to thrive in order to survive.
Rebecca Legg explains how sufficient delegation
can work wonders on your work team.
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of www.sxc.hu
Max Haslett encourages us to introduce humour
into a working environment.
Max Haslett also shares insight into how an
intern can help your business to flourish for free.
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CO NTEN TS 2/2
Michelle Harding enlightens us with the amazing
success of this month’s booming businesswoman Alayna Salter.
PARENTING & RELATIONSHIPS
Susa Dickerson lays it all down and spoon feeds
us tips on how to be a great business mummy.
Jack Whitlock eliminates doubts about what wine
to choose at that all-important business lunch.
STYLE & BEAUTY
Rebecca Ortelsberg impresses us with this
month’s business wardrobe
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PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of www.sxc.hu
The experts... 1 Rebecca Ortelsberg
Living life to the full, as well as up to her stereotype, French girl Rebecca is obsessed with shopping, fashion, and a self confessed wine lover. Her mojo? ‘Don’t just say it, DO it!’.
A smashing personality all compressed into a tiny little daydreamer. Nicknamed MidgePOP, she shows little awareness of the world around her, but is always willing to listen.
CON TRIBU TO R S
The key to good work is not to get too stressed. That’s why Max Haslett prides himself on being the most laid back member of the team. Always willing to learn to increase his general knowledge base. Sensible in achieving goals whilst working as hard as possible to reach them. This self confessed pink lover enjoys writing and designing anything she can get her hands on. Living on a diet of pick’n’mix, she’s never afraid of any challenge designed to test her.
A freelance journalist and photographer, Susa is also mum to two boys. Her belief of living life to the full has encouraged her to attend University as a mature student and take on the challenge of juggling family with essays. APRIL 2010 | BUSINESS WOMAN | 11
EDIT OR’S LETT ER
Welcome to April I have never particularly liked April very much. The weather is awful, a new breed of stress is produced in the form of a fresh financial year, and the first day out of its thirty is classed as a day to make a fool out of your friends. What on earth would possess your best friend to mix your hair conditioner with hair-removal cream? However, something that is rather appealing about April this time round is, while we are slowly sailing out of a recession (so they say), the UK unemployment levels have fallen for the first time in 18 months. Entrepreneurial spirits are finally rising above the surface, a surface which we like to call the equilibrium of optimism, something well worth breaking when it comes to running a flourishing business. But what about the kids and that man in your life? Will they benefit from April this year? Well in this month’s issue of BWM, we have spreads dedicated to thriving you, your family and your business as one. From advice on how to be the ultimate business mummy, to guides on the sophisticated lunch and impeccable business attire. Remember, if you strive to thrive, your business will be the utimate survivor amongst the many that have failed in the latest insufferable financial crisis. Do us proud won’t you. Enjoy the issue!
EDITOR OF BUSINESS WOMAN MAGAZINE
APRIL 2010 | BUSINESS WOMAN | 13
Stay focused and keep it together
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of www.sxc.hu
ouâ€™re not the only person running a business of your criteria. Whether it be retail, hospitality, professional, administration, marketing, or advertising, all those other businesses are still thriving away along our streets. So how are they managing to survive in the wake of a recession? The magic word is change. Changes are crucial to adapting to a financial crisis. You need to start by thinking about where you want to be in 10 years from now. Financial damage is not a quick turnaround, but itâ€™s important to always look ahead. Take risks; add some of that personal touch of yours to your business, and hopefully thunder will never struck the same place twice. >>
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SURVIVE Written by Rebecca Ortelsberg
A businesswoman’s guide to surviving a financial crisis
As miserable as times can get when pushing your business through a recession, prosperity will hit you in the face if you identify your challenges sufficiently and early enough before disaster strikes and you fall apart. It can be difficult admitting where you and your business stand. But as a businesswoman it’s important to prepare for the worst and the harsh reality that is life. Start by making a balance sheet of all assets and liabilities. Make a detailed outline of your fixed living expenses. Then, identify the sources that you consider reliable income and those sources that are in regular fluctuation. Now map out what costs can be cut, what personal assets can be sold, and start making an immediate plan that well enable you to survive. Get help Being self-employed in these types of situations is far from being easy. There’s no shame in admitting you can no longer be independent. If it means your business is going to survive then it’s definitely worth it, as a crisis can really put your weaknesses on show. Just be reasonable, realistic, and find someone to help you. Even today it’s quite common for professionals to have no training in personal finance. If you’re one of them then call in an advisor, one who you know will outline the truth, and
>> Identify challenges
It’s essential to come up with fresh strategies regularly.
make promises they can keep. You want someone who’s going to tell you how it is, not tell you a polished version of what’s really going on in your business. Just remember, you are a self-employed woman, not a super-hero. It’s important to have another point of view to consider.
Invest in promotion Keep in mind that customers have less disposable income during a recession. Therefore, there will be a reduction in potential custom as the days go by. Also, customers tend to change their habits by choosing the cheapest of products available. A solution, which companies tend to shy away from in times of crisis, is to decrease prices, invest in research and promotion, and implement new marketing strategies. Even in a hostile financial climate, cleverly prepared promotion strategies are an almost guaranteed way to push your business through desperate times. The well-documented studies of American Business Press, MC GrawHill, and Havard Business Review show that, companies that don’t reduce their investment plans into marketing during times of financial crisis recover considerably faster
than the businesses that do. We are not saying that employers should not be scared for their business, but in order to survive it’s essential to come up with fresh strategies regularly. And despite what other employers often think, promoting your business is a strategy that will fuel desirable development. Get closer to your clients Accountant, Tara White explains: “The best source of information comes from your clients. To be fully aware of the demand of the market you have to get closer to them in order to identify the needs and wants of your current and future market.” Try launching a questionnaire that will find out various details about who your clients are. Why do they come to your business? What do they find in it that they cannot find anywhere else? Where there’s demand for a product, exists potential for business. Satisfied clients are those who are going to come back and become regulars. Regularity is hard to establish in a recession, so put on special offers all the time, and blend this in with your well-invested promotion and marketing strategy. It’s the best tactic when trying to attract new clients, as well as regularising them. Recessions are part of a harsh reality, one that can be hard to come to terms with. Put this guide to practice, make it work, and stay focused.
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Delegate to Accelerate Leadership
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Does this sound like your attitude to work?
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of 401k4know.com
Written by Rebecca Legg
t’s time to change and become the professional businesswoman you know you always have been. You are not the only person capable of the job and it’s impossible to do it alone. That’s why you have others working for you. Delegation does not mean pawning your work off onto others for the sake of it. It’s an essential part of any management job, enabling you to maximize your time and concentrate on accelerating your career. Here are some tips on how to delegate successfully and sufficiently. Coaching Staff Before you begin to delegate tasks you should make sure you train or coach your staff. This will ensure they are up to date with any training and you can be confident they can manage the workload. Set aside a couple of days or a week to do some coaching. You will be happy you did in the long run when your workload becomes more manageable. >>
Make sure you train and coach your staff
APRIL 2010 | BUSINESS WOMAN |19
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of pictureperfectanddiego.com
Leadership A smile of successful delegation
Play to Strengths As a line manager you need to know your staff and their abilities. Not all will have the same skills or motivation as each other. Start small, but at the same time give them opportunities to prove themselves and broaden their horizons. It’ll allow them to become a more valuable team member, and leave doors open for successful delegation in the future. Sell the task to them On some occasions it can feel awkward telling your staff what to do. The best way to delegate work is to sell it to them. Say things like: “I believe you have the ability”, “I have a job that needs to be done and I thought of you”, or “I think you are the best person for the task”. It may sound cliché, but by saying these simple words of encouragement it will empower your staff. This will create a condient and highly motivated workforce, that you know you can always rely on.
every detail and inform your colleagues what you expect from them. By detailing you will ensure there is no room for confusion or huge errors. If possible, type up some instructions so your colleague has something to refer to,” continues Sarah. “Once you have explained everything necessary, ask them to say it back to you.” It’s important to reassure your employees that you are there if they need any help, and if they need to
You need to know your staff and their abilities.
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of advanttechsolutioncom
Be clear When assigning work you should be clear and concise. Bank manager, Sarah Jenkins comments: “Explain
ask you a question be approachable and make them feel valuable, but do try to avoid patronizing them. Some things should not be delegated You should look through and decide which pieces of work you can and cannot delegate. For example, you should never delegate specific projects that require your level of expertise. Also, if a job is confidential be careful about outsourcing work to others who you don’t fully trust. Finally follow up Throughout the task make sure your colleagues are happy with what they are doing. Ask if they have any questions or need your help. Show that you are there to support them, as this will ensure the task is done properly and your staff will know they have a manager that cares. Following this delegation advice will soon help you in becoming a highly successful businesswoman.
LOOK OUT FOR... NEXT MONTH’S TIPS ON GIVING A SUCCESSFUL PRESENTATION Give your staff clear instructions
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ALL REVEALED IN THE MAY ISSUE
Brighten UP workplace
Are your employees looking a little miserable? Written by Max Haslett
Flood the workplace with warmth
Get to know them better
Reward them for their hard work
Organise staff parties & events
Memorise their birthdays
Have regular team evaluations
Get your team together and have after-work team drinks down your local bar or pub. Getting to know your team on a one-to-one basis will help them relax around you, as well as other co-workers that they haven’t yet had a chance to get to know very well.
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of stockvault.net
By praising their hard work you are encouraging them to stay focused, motivated, ambitious and more willing to continue their work in a similar fashion in the future. This doesn’t have to done verbally though. Remember, you could always buy them a drink after work.
Every couple of months it’s a good idea to organise an out-of-work get-together. Bowling is a popular choice, because even if you’re a rubbish player, it’s a great laugh and creates a relaxed atmosphere. It will keep the relationship between your co-workers positive.
The value of remembering someone’s birthday is priceless. Keep a diary of everyone’s birthday, and whenever a big day is approaching send a card around the office for everyone to sign and dress up their desk in party balloons and confetti. They’ll never forget it.
It’s important to keep an eye on the performance and overall satisfaction of your employees. If they’re feeling depressed it will easily shine through in their work, which can have a negative impact on your business and its performance. Arrange one-to-one meetings and allow them to address any concerns.
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INTERNS Can they help my business to
Welcoming an intern into your business doesn’t have to be a chore. Written by Max Haslett
Avoid taking on familiar faces Remember the expression, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? Well, throw this cliché out the window. A good profile shines out of a good CV, not out of a best friend’s opinion. Privilege the skilled, not the ready made acquaintances. The priority is to find a profile that can adapt to the formation and the indispensable qualities that are required to work for your company. This will ensure you gain the best possible benefits from whomever it is you decide to take on as an intern. Marketing director, Melanie Slater comments: “Remember that interns are there to discover the world of business, as well as the adequacy of their competence with the work that has been delegated to them. It’s also your responsibility to make the internship a really interesting and worthwhile experience for them.”
Show enthusiasm and encouragement Sometimes, your intern will feel a little bit uncomfortable and a bit ‘useless’. It’s important for your intern to understand the link between their theoretical state of mind, which they would have learned in their university lectures, and the application of them-
selves to work experiences. It’s important for you to explain to them the task in hand in a general context. It’s lucky for you to have somebody by your side to whom you can delegate certain tasks to and bring you fresh ideas and opinions. Always bear in mind that an intern can be a potential future employee. Remember, your intern has applied to work for you because they are interested in working for your business field after university. The last scenario you want is for them to
llowing a fresh mind to enter your field of expertise can not only benefit the overall performance of a business, but also enable it to flourish for free. But, there are numerous important factors to be considered.
Privilege the skilled, not the ready made acquaintances.
return to university when the internship is over and think your business is a complete joke. Make them feel welcome and valued. Showing an interest in them working for you will encourage them to work harder.
Have some trust in them By giving them minor responsibilities, such as inviting them to meetings, and asking for their opinion on decisions that have to be made, it can benefit you in terms of fresh point of views and alternative solutions to problems, that would be difficult to solve on an over-worked mind. Having an intern can also help you as a manager to test your employees. How do they integrate with an intern when working as a team? How do your employees explain a project properly to your intern?
Try pairing up your intern with one of your employees to test how they work when other responsibilities are on their mind. This is also a good way to save yourself some valuable time in which you can get on with other tasks. You don’t have to keep an eye on your intern constantly. You might be surprised with the way your intern handles the work they’ve been given. Discover their strengths and don’t be afraid to put their bright ideas to the test. Giving them minor responsibilities will also help to keep them well motivated.
Learn from them Remember that most interns will be fresh out of university, or at least still studying a field that is related to the type of business you run. They’re up to date educationally, so it’s a good opportunity to discover contemporary expertise in your field of work. With an added dose of their knowledge, it will surely add to your experience as a businesswoman. It’s the ideal cocktail that will enable you to refresh your business techniques. The fact that an intern has a desire to work for you is a huge compliment. It shows that your business has a good reputation among society, and the intern is under the impression that they can succeed in life by working for you. Don’t let them down. Prove to them that they have chosen to gain valuable experience with the best business around. It will not only reward them in terms of work experience, but it will promote you nicely upon the intern’s CV.
APRIL 2010 | BUSINESS WOMAN | 27
Alayna Salter posing for the camera.
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PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of alaynasalter.com
SWEETtaste ofSUCCESS She unlocked the inner sweet tooth of the fashion industry and fed celebritys’ cravings of all things sweet and calorie free. It’s a pleasure to introduce a range of quirky jewellery designs that look good enough to eat. Written by Michelle Harding
n Oxford born musician, still trying to break into the music industry, Alayna Salter is also a uniquely gifted jewellery designer, who founded her online boutique back in 2008. Ever since then her business has boomed its way on to the acclaimed fashion carpets.
the steps in promoting accessories so that people could go online and see it and buy it. The next step was getting it sold in stores; I sold collections to a few boutiques that fell in love with the designs instantly. I now have very large demands for stock in London, Brighton and Bournemouth boutiques.”
It all kicked off 2 years ago now; explain to us how this candy dream all became a reality. “It originally started as just a personal hobby; I design all my own clothes and jewellery, but when people came up to me after my concerts and asked where I had bought them, I figured that this could be a business venture for me, as a sideline to my music. This is how Punky Allsorts was born and I really enjoy it.”
Some presses have claimed you overcharge your stock. What do you say to these people? “We are definitely not the cheapest fashion jewellery items around, but we need to keep our products affordable, but at the same time our prices must reflect the work that has gone into producing the pieces. Any business must consider how much it costs to produce. “We are hand-making everything from scratch, so there is a time element to consider. And then we have to consider how much profit is sensible for a piece, I look at it this way; people seem to love and get so excited about what we are already doing. We do not overprice our items, which is part of the rea>> son why we have been so successful.”
So you got the talent and the concept at this point, but how did your idea get started out? “I kind of made the decision that there was enough interest and I was taking enough orders privately to warrant turning it into a company. So I got a website made, took all
APRIL 2010 | BUSINESS WOMAN | 31
There is a waiting list for all of our products in the US.
So your business venture has gone big; how do you manage to stay grounded and balance an everyday life with that of a businesswoman? “Well, making jewellery is still very much a hobby of mine and I still enjoy making and designing, so I don’t really see it as a separation in my life. But it helps a lot that I now have a team I can rely on to run Punky Allsorts, whilst I focus on my album and other aspects in my life to keep that so called balance in check.”
>> Will you move away from the ‘pick
‘n’ mix’ theme and design a range to reflect and attract a wider market? “At some point, I would like to create a more sophisticated range using gold, silver and semi-precious stones, which would of course will have a different pricing structure. “I don’t want to change the range too much. I will introduce new items and designs. I want to keep what we have but mix things up a little bit.”
Why do you think your designs have been so successful with celebrities and the competitive fashion world? “I suppose it’s been so successful because there is nothing quite like it and I think the kinds of people who are attracted to it are those who like to wear things that are slightly unique and something that you can’t walk down the high street and buy. Fashion should be bold and statement making and our collections are overflowing with self-expression, bright, vibrant and playful designs.”
deal with US favourite, Kitson, LA boutique. How did this all happen? “It’s such an amazing achievement for Punky Allsorts, and very unexpected. I was visiting Los Angeles and the jewellery was spotted by the buyers of Kitson boutique. They loved the girly yet edgy designs so much that they wanted to start stocking my collections in various branches. Once this major move was approved, word got out and before we knew it Hollywood stars were embracing the candy coloured jewellery. The demand for the jewellery is so mad that there is a massive waiting list for all of our products in the US. Skull Charm take from the Charm Braclet collection
It’s crazy to think all this has happened in a period of 2 years. Some businesses can take years to boom. What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs like yourself? “If you’re brave and have a great idea, use your initiative and just go for it. I wanted to create a young, fun brand that didn’t follow the rules of the formal trends and now the success is providing me with great opportunities that will last forever.” Accessories are available from www.punkyallsorts.com
Strawberry Charm take from the Charm Braclet collection
We touched upon that you sell stock in boutiques which has become a phenomenal success. But now you have officially landed a collection
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of punkyallsorts.com
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Can you balance
Business Family and
It is possible to have a business and a family. Here are some tactics for striking the right balance.
Written by Susa Dickerson
n 2009, 75% of women entrepreneurs polled by the government said their work life balance was better when running their own business and 86% would set up a business again. So if you’re wondering whether you can be a mum and an entrepreneur, here are some tips to put you on the right track.
Make the right choice. Before you venture into anything new, it’s a good idea to be honest with yourself. Weigh up the pros and cons. Ask for your partner’s help, as this will affect him/her just as much as you.
Focus on what you do best... while someone else does the rest
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PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of www.sxc.hu
Prepare yourself emotionally. For many mums, the prospect of starting a business can be daunting. Feelings of guilt, uncertainty and worry may make you doubt you’re making the right choice. The best way of alleviating these feelings is by being as prepared and motivated as possible.
Parenting & Relationships
>> Make sure you will be doing some-
fair share of domestic duties.” Get involved with local organisations for working mums and women entrepreneurs. They will have invaluable experience that they will be more than happy to share ideas. If you are lucky enough to live near relatives and they are willing, get them involved too. Act resourcefully.
Plan ahead Make a schedule of family commitments, then see if the requirements of your business are compatible. You could work early in the morning before the children wake up, while they are at school, in youth clubs, and/or after they’ve gone to bed. Research and budget There are many questions that need to be answered before you can even begin to set up a business: ‘What will you do? Where will you be based? How much money will you need for start-up costs? Will you be able to survive without your steady income?’ Make a list and don’t even think about spending any money before you’ve answered them sufficiently.
Ensure you’re happy with the quality of your childcare arrangements Prepare for the transition. Familiarise your child(ren) with their new childcarer by starting them off progressively the week before you actually need them fully put into action. The last thing you want to be doing is worrying about the welfare of your child(ren) while you’re in an important meeting or business lunch.
Focus on what you do best and hire others to do the rest If you can afford to hire outside help, do it! It will probably save your sanity. On the business side, unless you’re a trained accountant, outsource your payroll, VAT and tax. It could also save you a lot of time to arrange for a virtual PA to do your admin work. On the home front, get a cleaner in or at least someone to do your ironing once a fortnight. This will free up some of your time to manage your business and enjoy your family. Get support Surround yourself with positive people and don’t be afraid or feel ashamed to ask for help if needed. Retail manager, and mother of two, Christina Wade comments: “Talk to your partner and agree how chores and responsibilities will be divided, so that neither of you feel that you are shouldering more than your
thing that you want to do. It’s far easier to work hard if you’re actually interested in the task undertaken.
If you can afford to hire outside help, do it!
Make technology work for you One of your best and most important investments will be a good quality computer. Whether you choose a PC, MAC or laptop, make sure it suits your needs and lifestyle. If you’re based at home, a PC or MAC would be suitable, whereas someone who’s on the road a lot would probably be better with a laptop. Also, invest in a good broadband service, which can be useful for family life too. Shopping online can save you a huge amount of time, and countless unnecessary headaches. Make the most of time spent with your family Switch off from the daily grind and enjoy family life. Take the time to do things that you like together, even simple things like going to the park,
playing a game or just reading a story without other distractions. Involve your children in doing chores, rather than getting frustrated. Most children will be happy to dust, vacuum, do some gardening, as long as they’re doing it with you and you make it fun. It will go faster too. Make time for yourself Don’t feel guilty. We all need time to unwind and get away from it all. Take turns with your partner to have a night out with the guys/girls. And don’t forget to spend some alone time with your partner. Relationships need commitment too. Re-evaluate your situation Most importantly, continually reassess the balance between your working and family life. Circumstances and priorities change and arrangements might need to be altered to suit your new needs. Even if your job remains right for you, it is worth re-examining your situation to make sure that you are still on the right track.
Useful websites www.businesslink.gov.uk Business Link provides free business advice and support service
www.wireuk.org WIRE supports women in rural enterprise
www.seednetwork.com SEED is a free social networking site for women – the home of women’s enterprise
www.bizmums.co.uk 2008 Business Mums site from Yell.com is full of useful information for working mums
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COME WINE WITH ME
On a business lunch, learn how to find and choose the right wine to impress potential clients with experience and class. Written by Jack Whitlock
A PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of www.sxc.hu
s you sit down to an important lunch with a client or business partner, be sure to show your know-how when it comes to that precious wine list. To many it would seem a minor detail when it comes to making an impression. However, it doesnâ€™t just show off the fact you can order wine or have the money. In most cases, it can show your intellect and confidence, or simply let drop that you have done this successfully with a countless number of clients hundreds of times before.
A glass half full, be confident in what wine you order.
Knowledge Gaining knowledge on the many wines can be a great conversation starter and a guaranteed win-win situation. If your client or business partner is unable to select a fine wine, you can educate them and suggest what choice to make. It shows great initiative and most importantly, experience. It is important to show a contained enthusiasm when picking up the wine list. Being subtle about your selection whilst making the first move will help your client relax, allowing them to take their time when making their choice.
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A fine selection of Wines.
Meeting Situation Choosing wine can give people an indication of your personality as much as each type of wine suits its own type of meeting. For example, if the meeting appears to be relatively informal then rosé is a good selection, as it is light and not as strong as white and red. If it’s just a relaxing chinwag then you don’t want your client feeling the effects too early. For more formal or debate based lunches, white wine is a must. Known for its stylish image, if you are looking to impress an upper class businesswoman or man, this should be your choice as it will never let you down. Last but not least is the most popular, red wine. High-profile businesswomen and men refer to this wine as the ‘Deal Sealer’.
The general guideline is to drink white wine with fish and red wine with meat. However, with all of the new cuisines it can get mixed up. Chardonnay is appropriate for roast dinners, especially when the meat is pork. The idea is for the flavours to compliment each other. Whilst considering all these factors may seem complicated, many expert wine connoisseurs have come up with an easy way to remembering the guides. They say: “Simple wines with complex foods, complex wines with simple foods.” Another way of successfully pairing your food with your wine is by thinking of the wine as an extra ingredient to your meal. Putting your palate into practice can determine what complements each other and what fails to do anything of the sort.
Simple wines with complex foods, complex wines with simple foods.
Food and Wine Wine choice isn’t only determined by the situation. Another consideration in the equation relates to the type of food you and your client are eating. Architectural engineer, Beverly Aspinall comments: “When it comes to the food, picking the right wine not only shows your experience, it shows you’re a decent decision maker too.” You don’t want to make the mistake of choosing a strong tasting wine with a delicately flavoured entree. For example, red wine with fish, whilst it’s not unheard of, it’s not the best choice to make an impression. Take your time and choose wisely.
How much to order Ordering more than one bottle of wine at a business lunch has become very popular, especially when money is the topic on the agenda. Finish your first glass at the same speed as your client to show you are a standard wine drinker. After that, slow down and allow them to drink slightly more than you. You don’t want to let your mind unwind too much. Also, try not to be too picky on prices as this will knock your image down a few pegs. It’s sad but true. Where’s the wine from? There is also the origin of the wine to consider. The finest of restaurants will produce a wine list longer than the food menu itself. If this is the case, then it will feature wine from all over the world, from California to Oz. Of course, French wines are famous for their fine grapevines, so if in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a couple of glasses of rich Burgundy. Making decisions easy Making all of these decisions for you can seem a tad self-indulged and dominant. Allow your client to have input, make them feel like you value any choices they wish to make. At the end of the day you’re are trying to impress them, not your stomach. After you have experimented a business lunch once, it will put you in a good situation for the next time. Remember these guidelines and it will come easily and naturally.
Win your clients over with class. PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of www.sxc.hu
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Adopt the BUSINESSWOMAN wardrobe For a woman to be respected in her career, a good place to start is to adopt a good dress sense. Rebecca Ortelsberg guides you to reach the ultimate businesswoman look.
PHOTOGRAPHY: courtesy of www.sxc.hu
he ideal outfit can bring any businesswoman and her frame of mind into focus. The motivation to go about her day at full steam is hugely influenced by her confidence, something that can be fueled by how she feels about herself and what she is wearing. It may sound cliché, but first impressions really are everything throughout the everyday demands of a businesswoman, from delegating tasks to employees, to all those important business lunches. A woman who works hard doesn’t have to be run down into the ground. Just by simply completing one’s wardrobe, everyday tasks will come with surprising sufficiency. But what exactly completes a wardrobe? What is appropriate when suiting a booting the ultimate businesswoman? >>
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your personal taste. However, plaids and subtle patterns that appear solid across a room are usually a safe bet. A sneaky beverage Now is the time to let loose a little. Throw on that cocktail dress you’ve been dying to show off with a matching pair of high heels, and hit that new swanky bar that just opened. One consideration that should be taken into account with cocktail dresses is the company in which you are drinking with. Traditional cocktail dresses will either come in black or red. Black should be kept for the company of co-workers and people you know on a professional basis, whereas if in the company of family and friends then go for the red. Remember that cocktail dresses are strictly for pleasure and leisure. They are strictly inappropriate for any type of business meeting or the workplace.
Casual yet Professional Just because it’s your day off at the workplace doesn’t mean you should abandon the business garments and jump straight into jogging bottoms. Your clothes not only represent you as a businesswoman but your business as a whole. People you come into contact with everyday should be constantly fed a professional impression of you and your business. If it’s casual you’re looking for, play it safe with a pair of beige coloured harem trousers and a cream mac coat. Complete it with matching tanned brogues and a must-have Mulberry shoulder bag.
Cocktail dresses are strictly for pleasure.
That vital business lunch It’s the day when that deal you’ve been so anxious about is finally coming to a close. You want to look classy and sophisticated, so lose the suit and stick on the classic pencil skirt, fitted shirt, tailored jacket, and a pair of black stilettos or peep toes with kitten heel. Standard high heels are way too casual. Feel free to experiment with colour, but keep them pastel, not vibrant, otherwise it will send off all the wrong messages. At the workplace What you wear at work will set an example to all your employees. You want to look smart and professional, yet at the same time not so highly dressed that you look like you have just walked out of a wedding ceremony. Dress yourself in a feminine and well-tailored suit, one that will surely impress and show who’s boss. Invest in several high quality outfits that are interchangeable rather than in multiple poor quality outfits. Unlike the business lunch, it’s time to avoid colour. Stick to charcoal or navy when it comes to suits. Strictly avoid extreme patterns like polka dot or stripes. You want to make a statement about your business, not
Business underneath Believe it or not but undergarments were originally designed to support a woman’s figure. As a businesswoman, respect others and keep them hidden. Be careful when wearing bold coloured bras under white shirts, as it’s bound to show through. Last minute considerations If you’re unsure about how to have the length of your skirts, keeping the hemline about one or two inches above the knee is usually a safe bet. When at the workplace, avoid fashion fads and stick to a professional and more conservative look. Never overfill any briefcases, purses or handbags. Creating a disorganised look about you can give negative connotations. Invest in a high-quality, feminine-looking bag. Remember, first impressions really are everything for a businesswoman.
APRIL 2010 | BUSINESS WOMAN | 45
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