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In The News Dear Friends: More than 35 of our members met with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at our Legislation Action Summit in April. More than 100 women business owners from throughout the state spent two days in the capital to meet with legislators to discuss issues such as healthcare, preschool for all, workers comp, unemployment, and the governor’s reform package. The governor spoke about the importance of government being run like a business and the need for accountability in politics. He also urged the group to continue letting their voice be heard at the state and local level. NAWBO provides the knowledge, tools and connections women business owners need to grow their businesses. This newsletter has a lot of that information— provided by our members and sponsors. And we have our lead article on women’s access to capital. To sustain the momentum and keep the progress going in women business owners’ access to commercial credit, women business owners must: position their businesses for potential growth from the very beginning; be better educated about the appropriate forms of financing for each stage of business growth; and network with financial decision makers. NAWBO-California is expanding our network opportunities by aligning with the Women’s Leadership Exchange’s (WLE) conference, being held in Long Beach in early August. WLE presents conferences all over the country for established business owners that want to connect with top business experts, corporate leaders and more. WLE was started by NAWBO members in New York City and we are pleased to work together to further the goals of women business owners throughout the state. Sincerely,
Jerri Hemsworth President, NAWBO-California
Women Business Owners’ Access to Capital: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going
lthough there has been tremendous progress during the past decade, women business owners’ use of capital— both credit and equity— still lags behind men’s, according to a study from the Center for Women’s Business Research, underwritten by Wells Fargo. Women business owners’ access to commercial credit increased by more than two-thirds between 1996 and 2003, from 20% of women business owners using commercial credit in 1996 to 34% in 2003. This increase is even more pronounced for the larger businesses owned by women. In 2003, 56% of these businesses were using commercial credit. “This progress is due in great part to the recognition on the part of financial institutions of the market opportunity presented by the growth of women-owned businesses. But it also reflects the increased financial sophistication of women entrepreneurs,” says Jerri Hemsworth, President of NAWBO-California. Private banks increasingly have recognized the viability of the women business owner market. A number of national, regional and community banks have created substantial lending initiatives resulting in a greater range of financial choices available to women entrepreneurs.
N AW B O m e a n s b u s i n e s s . G e t i n v o l v e d . F o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n ,
In The News Creating a Positive Brand Experience on the Internet By Michelle Howe
he key to selling online is having a powerful Internet branding strategy. Unlike traditional branding that relies on emotion, Internet branding focuses on the online profile and behaviors of your target customers. Who are your customers and how do they search for your products online? What are the search phrases that your customers use to find your Web site? VPC-i.com is one of the few companies today offering consultative services to create an Internet Branding Blue Print for a company. VPC-i.com breaks the process down to six basic steps: 1) Target Customer Profiling— Internet branding is all about “pulling” or attracting the RIGHT customers to buy the RIGHT products and services from your Web site. The information on the Web site needs to be easy to find with a call-to-action design. 2) Search Scenario Modeling— A complete analysis of how your customer buys on the Internet. Why are they searching? What stage of the sales cycle are they in? 3) Competitive Positioning— Maintain a higher search engine ranking than your competition. 4) Proof-Point Content Development— Well written
content persuades your customer with proof that what you say is true. Branding online allows you to use links to other sites to prove your claims. 5) Online Branding— A company’s name, tagline and slogans all need to be easy to find during an online search. Extensive web-based research needs to be done to insure online success. 6) Brand Logo Design— Digital idiosyncrasies and browser technologies can display your logo and colors with great variations from one computer to the next. The Internet branding process starts with identifying the profile of your customers and then creating a positive brand experience for them by having useful and easily accessible information. Your company creates a better online brand image than your competition by intuitively aligning information on your Website to match what is being searched. Michelle Howe is a member of NAWBO-Orange County and is president and owner of WordMagic.biz, a company specializing in writing persuasive content for Web sites and creating irresistible copy to sell a company’s product or service.
Small Business Health Incurance Options Contributed by Brian Sassi, General Manager, Blue Cross of California
ealth insurance is an important asset, retention and protection tool and benefit that businesses of every size should consider carefully. Yet, the complexity of understanding health benefits can be overwhelming. While larger companies may have an experienced benefits coordinator, smaller businesses often struggle to develop their own health programs. Be aware of new resources and administration options that will provide you and your employers with greater access to health coverage. And there are lifestyle and health care practices that can keep costs down: 1. Encourage the use of less expensive, generic prescription drug alternatives.
2. Keep employees healthy. Promote the use of health and wellness programs offered by plans at little or no cost. 3. Take advantage of voluntary health improvement programs for members with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes to help manage disease and reduce the need for emergency treatment. 4. Remain insured. Medical costs associated with a single unforeseeable event can be financially and emotionally devastating. For more information on how to secure coverage for your business, contact your local insurance agent, visit: http://www.bluecrossca.com or call 800-999-2273.
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Give and Grow By Rebekah Donaldson, Business Communications Group LLC
epending on market conditions in 2004-05, your closest competitors may ramp up their efforts to lure away your best customers and staff. To help keep these assets with your firm, you may need to devote more resources to building up your company’s reputation as a good corporate citizen. A growing contingent of consumers and employees care about how companies conduct themselves. And according to studies by the Calvert Group and Harris Interactive, investors increasingly favor firms with reputations for superior corporate citizenship. The reason? A growing body of evidence showing that the companies respected for their progressive business practices and philanthropy are also better at attracting and keeping the best customers and top talent. A recent Business Ethics magazine study, for instance, showed that the nation’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” generated better returns than the remaining companies on the S&P 500 Index. Harvard University and Harris Interactive have issued similar findings.
And a 2002 Aspen Institute survey found that “more than half of MBA students would seek another job if they found that their values conflicted” with their employers’ values. These market pressures help to explain the “continued high level of new gifts into corporate foundations” reported by The Foundation Center this month. So depending on market conditions in 2004-2005, consider launching or expanding your company’s charitable giving by donating $500-$5,000 to a nonprofit aligned with your company’s values and mission. Through this good deed, you’ll position your company to attract and keep your key assets - customers and staff. And as your socially responsible company flourishes, you will be in a position to give back even more to the communities you serve. Rebekah Donaldson of Business Communications Group, LLC, is a member of NAWBO-Sacramento. Visit her web site at www.bizcomgrp.com for more tips on how to grow your reputation, or email her at email@example.com
KUDOS to NAWBO members for award-winning work!
NAWBO-Orange County Director of PR and Corporate Partner Hilary Kaye, of Hilary Kaye Associates, Inc. (HKA), won four prestigious awards from the Public Relations Society of America-OC. With just 4 entries, the firm batted 4-for-4, with two first-place PROTOS wins and two second-place Awards of Excellence. The 21-year-old agency, founded by Kaye, has won numerous awards throughout the years for media relations (publicity) campaigns, brochures, newsletters and other PR activities.
Mary Schnack (NAWBO-Ventura County) has been Communications Manager of an award-winning transportation project in Sedona, Arizona. The State Route 179 Project has received the international Best Project Award from the prestigious Institute of Transportation Engineers 2005 Transportation Planning Council, the Public Participation Program/Multi-Agency Coordination Award from the Arizona Planning Association, a gold category winner for the League of American Continued on back
The 1,249,343 privately-held, 50% or more women-owned firms in California generate more than $406 billion in sales and employ 2,818,949 people.
Thank you to the NAWBO-California Corporate Partners
NAWBO-CALIFORNIA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS
Janet Steiner’s (NAWBO-Inland Empire) company, Thoro Packaging, won the folding carton Excellence Award for “Jaqua on Main”, a line of bakery and boutique inspired spa products. The Paperboard Packaging Council presented
Judith A. Davidson, CFM (NAWBOSacramento Valley) of The Anderson/ Davidson Group, will be the first woman coach inducted into the University of Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame. She coached the women's field hockey team from 1978 1988 and won an NCAA Division I National Championship in 1986.
2004-2005 Board of Directors Jerri Hemsworth, President Cathy Daugherty, VP of Legislative Action Frances Nevarez, VP of Corp. Relations Jacqueline Reimann, Secretary Myra J. Malkiewicz, Treasurer Judith Pérez, Parliamentarian Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, Immediate Past President NAWBO California is a consortium of these nine chapters Desert Cities Inland Empire Los Angeles Orange Co. Sacramento
San Diego San Francisco Silicon Valley Ventura Co.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS
Congratulations to Susan Dakuzaku (NAWBO-Sacramento Valley) owner of MegaMania Interactive (MMI) which was recognized as the 2004 Small Business of the Year award. MMI’s mission is to help businesses implement an effective web presence and to localize those businesses into a search engine so consumers will find them.
1431 La Colina Tustin, CA 92780 1-888-NAWBO-CA
Thoro Packaging with this year’s Excellence Award because of their ability to create folding cartons that exhibit internal production/converting capabilities, and for excellence in the retail consumer environment. The National Paperboard Packaging Competition honors those craftsmen who proved to be the best in paperboard packaging each year.
Printing and mailing generously donated by Union Bank of California
Communication Professionals (LACP) Spotlight Awards and a silver winner for publicity in the LACP Magellan Awards.
Published on Jul 1, 2005
This Newsletter is for the nine NAWBO Chapters in California. The National Association of Women Business Owners are Owners of California Bus...