an online magazine for New Zealand women in business
ISSUE TWO APRIL 2012
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per Making you look good on pa
Welcome to our second issue of Venus which coincides with the celebration of Venus’s 4th Birthday.
I was blown away by the support, congratulations and fabulous feedback I received from the first issue of Venus that arrived in your inbox just before Christmas. This publication has been a dream of mine for almost as long as the Venus Network has been operating. The best Christmas present I got last year were all the heartfelt wishes and compliments from you, the business women around New Zealand who inspire me to continue building Venus into what I hope becomes New Zealand’s most loved and successful business network for women. I’ve decided to choose a theme to focus on in each issue. Issue one was Purpose and wow, the stories that came up around living on purpose; finding ones purpose and what purpose meant to each of us were awesome.
This issue we’re focusing on Balance. What is it to you? How do you find it? Is it possible to achieve? We have our business panel sharing their thoughts along with articles and business tips to help you grow over the coming months. Preparing for this issue was insightful for me because I got to hear from a number of businesswomen who all had a slightly different opinion about this topic. The interesting thing that happened was that my own life has felt the most out of balance in the past three months compared with my entire four years in business. This year seemed to kick off with a bang and I was putting too much energy into my business and not enough into the other areas of my life. Over the last month I have been able to read through the articles, stories and insights within this issue for inspiration and ideas on how to bring my life back into balance and I also got to redefine what a balanced life means to me. A balanced life, to me, is making the time to put energy into each area of my life. Not in equal parts, but the amount that feels right for me at the time. And taking the time each week and month to stop and reflect on where my energy is going and how I’m feeling about life helps me to continue experiencing a sense of harmony between all aspects of my life.
I hope you enjoy reading through our second issue. I would love you to jump onto our Facebook page www. facebook.com/VenusNetworkNZ to share your feedback and your thoughts and ideas around balance. Wishing you an energising autumn! Love your work, Vanessa
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BalanceTips with Kathryn Overall
Are you seeking a better business/life balance in 2012? Kathryn Overall explores the balance ideal, with Debbie Albrecht, Tracy Stamatakos, and a bunch of wise businesswomen on Facebook – posing the question “what does business/life balance mean to you?” Hands up if you got to the end of last year feeling a little frazzled and faded, vowing to yourself that you would find a better business/life balance in 2012? If your hand is up – you are among friends! This theme has popped up in discussions all over the country recently. I don’t know about you, but it strikes me that the term work/life or business/life balance is a little washed out these days - one of those terms whose meaning has faded with over-use (like wishes for world-peace in beauty pageant acceptance speeches). A few wellplaced questions are usually the best way to wake up a tired phrase and really get at the heart of the thing. Helpful questions could be, ‘what does business/life balance actually look like? Why are we separating business and life – isn’t it all just life? What is the common ideal here that we are all striving for? Should it look the same for everybody? Is there a one-size-fitsall approach to balance or not?
Throwing out questions to a bunch of businesswomen on Facebook, prompted a little flurry of responses clearly this is a hot topic! There was a common thread in many of the comments, an overall theme that I reckon I could reduce to one word. Harmony. Women are seeking to find harmony between their professional and personal lives – they want to find fulfillment and a sense of achievement in who they are and what they do. For some this means not even seeing a distinction between business and life – rather that their business is an extension of who they are and they embrace the whole. Others see their business and personal life in distinct categories but want the categories to harmonise rather than to be in competition with each other. One thing was clear though. If harmony was the single goal, the approaches to achieving that goal were as wide and varied as the group of women who offered them. The very word balance conjures up images of scales – literally balancing one kind of activity with another in a careful and deliberate way. This metaphor works perfectly for some women, especially those who are very organized and thrive on structure. For these women, lists and timetables ensure that all the important things, both personal and professional are given proper attention. They like to look at their life as a whole, and make sure that their time is strategically allocated according to what matters to them.
Debbie Albrecht, of Colours Plus Image Consulting, is a master at this – and is quick to point out that timemanagement is her closest ally when it comes to having a balanced life. Debbie has built a very successful business, gaining a reputation for being one of the leading personal image stylists in New Zealand. That she maintains this success, while still finding time to be the Venus Christchurch Regional Coordinator, Rangiora Venus Group Facilitator, part-time merchandiser and saleswoman/stylist with JAKS Women’s Clothing Store, and a wife and mother to boot, shows how well she has fine-tuned her juggling skills. “I am very much a planner and goal setter,” says Debbie. “If I didn’t operate like this, I would not be achieving what I have already achieved and I believe I wouldn’t function either. It’s important for me to have a clear separation between professional and personal goals with sufficient time for each.”
Debbie says she learnt the hard way that that you either book time out, or burn out, and she is very deliberate about taking time to re-energise. “I book out one weekend in a month to spend with Stephen and family. Under no circumstances do I change this, and it feels really good”, she says. “I also love treating myself to facials, having my nails done, and having a few wines with good friends.” Tracy Stamatakos marches to a completely different beat. Together with her husband Kris, she owns and runs Colonial Court Motor Inn in Tauranga. The fact that they live on-site at the motel with their two boys makes clean divisions between family life and business life pretty much impossible. There are advantages to this though, says Tracy. “We are always here for our kids when they are unwell and we go on every school trip and camp and coach sport teams etc. We feel they will also grow up with a strong work ethic.”
A multi-award winning master photographer, Tracy is highly sought after, and can usually be found during the day at her ‘One Black Sheep Photography’ office, right next door to Colonial Court Motor Inn, while Kris oversees the day-to-day running of motel. “I guess we are a well oiled machine, more like a tag team really,” says Tracy. “At certain times of the year I get some more hours in after the kids are in bed. I find this a very peaceful time to work - with no distraction and the phone doesn’t ring!”
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Tracy’s approach to business/life balance is very fluid. “I do work more hours than the average person and weekends only mean the kids are at home,” she says. “I’m not out to try and fit my life into some cookie cutter mold of what someone else’s idea of a balanced life is. Along with my family, I’m happy and healthy and want for nothing. I tried to set aside one day a week for me, but it never seemed to work out like I planned… now I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and take time out on a whim. It’s much more fun and I can because I’m self-employed” When it comes to planning for the future, Tracy likes to paint in broadbrush strokes, leaving room for discovery and unexpected possibilities. “I don’t like to set too many goals, she explains. “I think you become too fixated on posts. I’d rather travel on a path in the general direction and see where it leads… it’s amazing the opportunities that just seem to appear. One of my favourite quotes is ‘success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it’ (Henry Thoreau).”
Jo Foster, of Love Your Small Business, has worked with a wide range of businesswomen, helping them to align their sense of life purpose with profitable business structures. She has something of a birds-eye-view perspective on this balance theme and notices that the balance ideal can ironically become a pressure for women. “I think that the idea of this awesome work/life balance does put pressure on people - almost an expectation to live up to something”, says Jo. “A huge part of creating balance for us has also been about getting really strategic about HOW we structure our business so we can consciously plan ahead for balance. For me, I know I’m in balance when I’m achieving the things I want to both in the biz and also in other areas of my life. Sometimes that means working in the evening or weekend, but usually that’s because I’ve taken time out of work during the week… the ebb and flow.” So, if you look around you, chances are you will find women who are harmonizing their professional and personal lives in ways that are useful and meaningful to them, yet completely different from one another. Some are wired to suit a finely tuned timetable approach, some a broad-stroking ebb and flow approach, and most a unique blend somewhere along the continuum.
that resonates with us, and run with it. Personally, even though I am at home with detail and structure, the creative, intuitive part of me needs more fluid metaphors. I picture my life as a river. At times I live life broad and shallow, spinning a lot of different plates at the same time, at other times I focus right up and flow deep and narrow. I need the flexibility of this ebb and flow, and as long as I stay in tune with myself, the components of my life feel in harmony with another. I suspect the ultimate key in this balance business is that we learn to pay attention to how we really are;
learn to check in with our true selves – you know…the one that sometimes get buried beneath business plan, the kids homework and last weeks filing. If we know how to read the warning signs of our body and soul, then we will be able to correct any imbalances as we travel, and reprioritize our energies where necessary. Donna Peary is a professional counselor, with her own private counselling practice. In our quest for balance she suggests that, “we learn to be familiar with our internal world and become skilled at noticing where, when, and how it needs attending to. And that’s not as fluffy as it sounds.” If you can know yourself, be true to yourself, and not be intimidated by other peoples balance ideals, then you will already be well on your way to business/life harmony.
We’d love to hear what business/life balance means to you. Share with us at www.facebook.com/VenusNetworkNZ
My working theory is that as businesswomen, we need to find a business/life balance approach or metaphor
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Professional Advice by Lillybeth Melmoth
TWO WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR BUSINESS IMAGE WITH MAKEUP
Have your makeup applied by a professional makeup artist for your next business headshots
Request a makeup consultation with an independent makeup artist to discover your best makeup colours and techniques for a lifetime of professional looking makeup.
Freelance writer and self-confessed “devout makeup-phobe”, Maria Low, had her makeup applied by Lillybeth for her new business website photos. “I had written myself off as a lost cause and effectively given up on makeup. But as a woman in business I need a professional look, and this includes makeup.
Using the power of makeup for business Try listing the various brands in Lillybeth Melmoth’s makeup kit and you’ll soon need to stop for a breath. While your brain might boggle at the eclectic list, you won’t get tongue-tied. Cover Girl, Maybelline, Mary Kay; most of the brands Lillybeth uses are common to the makeup-wearing woman.
So how has she found success as a professional makeup artist (405 ‘faces’ last year alone) while relying on such unpretentious brands? How has she created a beautiful portfolio of work from weddings to magazine shoots to commercial projects with a kit containing purchases from KMart and even Sunny’s? Lillybeth says her makeup success and yours - relies on disregarding brand reputations, finding specific products that work, and knowing how to use them for impressive results. When it comes to using makeup for a professional polished image, what’s in your makeup bag is less important that the skill with which you apply it.
Lillybeth has a trained eye most of us don’t have - she really knew how to make the most of my features, while ensuring I still looked natural. Because I did a lesson with her, I now know how to achieve this look as well. I realised that with quality makeup in the right shades (which don’t have to cost the earth) I can achieve a really great look if it’s applied correctly. [The lesson] has boosted my confidence, both in business and socially. Lillybeth doesn’t just keep her knowledge to herself – she genuinely wants to empower her clients with the skills of makeup application. Would I recommend her services? Absolutely. She is the best at what she does. She really does care about helping women feel good about themselves and that comes through in her attitude and service.” Maria Low, Owner of Scriptique –Cambridge
Here are three keys to achieving gorgeous makeup Lillybeth wants every professional woman to know.
Don’t rely on consumer reviews. Have you ever read a negative product review in a magazine? No? Apart from the obvious bias in many ‘Beauty editor picks’ lists, these recommendations will often fail you because the advice is based on one person’s experience. Consumer reviews are not trustworthy, simply because we, as humans, often love things that are bad for us!
Instead, demand unbiased, professional beauty advice. Before you buy that product you’ve seen advertised or recommended by a friend, look it up on Beautypedia. www.beautypedia.com is a free, online database with over 45,000 unbiased reviews of big name brand products. From L’Oreal to Lancôme, The Body Shop to MAC - all the big brands on the US market are reviewed here. This is what I use to find the most effective, reliable products to put in my kit.
Just this one resource can save you potentially thousands of dollars, give you an advantage over most other women and see you out-savvy the advertisers at every purchase. Don’t mindlessly follow trends. If you constantly adapt your makeup or business look to be on-trend, there’s a high chance you’re looking less than your best most of the time. So what if tangerine is in season? If you don’t suit orange, wear this season’s hottest colour at your peril. Instead, book a makeup consultation to discover the makeup colours and techniques that suit you. Wear your best makeup options yearround and just rejoice when they do come back in season - which they inevitably will. You’ll have more fun looking gorgeous all the time than you would following fashion’s whims.
Express yourself! So now you have some of the best products available and know the colours and techniques that look amazing on you. Now, wear them in a way that conveys your unique personality and business brand.
Are you romantic? Classic? Bold? Earthy? Relaxed? Powerful? Look to your personality or business story to discover what you’re all about. Then take those discoveries and translate them into the world of beauty. Your face expresses so much! Is your current makeup look congruent with the real ‘you’? Don’t let your beauty be restricted by clichéd one-liners from magazines, or notions that certain makeup looks are for some but not others. There are general principles and helpful tips that apply to most but you might just be the exception.
Catch up with Lillybeth online at www.abeautifuleducation.co.nz www.facebook.com/abeautifuleducation
Business Q&A with Laura Humphreys
Q: Why is an exit strategy so important?
Q: When should I start planning my exit from my business?
Ask any business owner what their plan is to exit their business and chances are that they will look at you blankly. Ask the same business owners why they started their own business and they will tell you that they wanted to work for themselves, they want to be their own boss, have a flexible lifestyle doing something they love. The sad fact for the majority of business owner operators, however, is that they end up with the exact opposite of what they dreamed of. They work longer hours for less pay, take on more stress, have more sleepless nights and take fewer holidays. I always joke when I’m working with business owners that if they should take a personal grievance out against themselves for such terrible working conditions!
I believe you should view a business as a project. When you start a project you have a clear beginning, middle and end. You know what the project will look like when it’s complete and you will be able to measure your success. It’s the same with a business. If you plan for the end goal, you have a far greater chance of getting there. Obvious really, isn’t it? And yet so few businesses are planned this way.
Not that there is anything wrong with working hard. In fact when you start a business, you should expect to work like a demon for the first few years at least. But at some stage your business should start to pay you back for all your hard work. With an exit strategy in place, you know your blood, sweat and tears (yes, you know what I mean – women in business, there’s got to be tears!) will all be worth it when you begin to reap the rewards.
A planned exit strategy is the single most important business requirement. It’s also the most overlooked. That’s why I felt the need to create Liber8me – a mentoring programme that will help small business owner operators become wealthy entrepreneurs instead.
So the answer to the question ‘when should I start planning my exit?’ is …. NOW! It doesn’t matter how long you have been running your business – one month, two years or a decade. If you do not have an exit strategy in place, NOW is the time to create one. You need to work out how your business is going to be able to feed you wealth, without you having to be there. You need to work out what your business model is going to be. Are you going to build your business to sell it? Or perhaps you can build it so that it is systemized in a way that it brings in income without you being there? Can you create a model that generates passive income for you? In the Liber8me online programme I show business owners some of the different business models they could consider and teach them how to plan their exit at a defined point in the future.. Laura Humphreys is a successful business woman, business mentor and creatorof the Liber8me Online Mentoring Programme, which teaches small business owner operators how to build a business which will make them wealthy. www.liber8me.com
Expert Business Advice by Kerry Ensor
So what do these changes mean for all the marketers out there? Broadly speaking Facebook now offers more diverse ways to enhance an authentic brand experience away from a base level of direct promotions and brand messaging.
Last month changed the landscape of Facebook for Business. The introduction of the Timeline for Pages was not unexpected but the extent of the changes has surprised some. As with everything on the everchanging landscape of social media, we will soon adjust and forget the old ‘Wall’ and the new ‘Timeline’ format will become second nature. By introducing this new style for business pages, Facebook have done the equivalent of turning a diary into an online magazine with columns and features – all providing great opportunities for branding and storytelling. If you wish to update your Page yourself, there are a lot of how-to articles available including a nice overview pdf from Facebook. But as with any social media platform the ‘set-up’ is always the easy part, it’s making the page work for your business that takes more time and effort.
True to the core values of Facebook, this ‘magazine’ format is designed to present engaging content and storytelling. This reflects the interests of the consumer – essentially people are not on Facebook to be sold to. They are there to engage with ideas and areas of interest and to interact socially – a great opportunity for any business that wants to differentiate themselves by sharing their brand personality and adding value to customer service. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, content is always king. Changing our thinking from the traditional ‘push’ marketing – delivering one-way sales messages to customers - to supplying information which adds value and creates a relationship of trust with your customers is the new approach, commonly termed ‘pull‘ marketing.
These changes underline this change in marketing approach. Businesses need to move with the times if they wish to communicate with their customer base effectively and be noticed on social media platforms. 1. Increased Visual Branding Opportunities – how your Page looks
With the help of a graphic designer and good imagery the new Cover picture, likened to a website banner, gives a company great branding space. Working within the FB restrictions you can represent your brand here, with a simple logo, web banner or clever use of graphical elements and imagery of your branding. This slideshow on mashable. com shows some great examples for inspiration. If you have existing imagery you just need to ensure that it works in a
horizontal banner format (851 x 315 pixels). For some businesses this will not be easy – if you just have square images or photos, plain logos, especially if they are in low resolution, you may find that you would better to get some graphic design input. However, if you have patterns as imagery this may be effective on its own, or with the addition of some wording.
With the old style Facebook your branding space was a welcome page and a side-bar avatar and you had free range of ‘advertising space’ to show and say what you liked there. Whilst this is great opportunity for branding, there are some restrictions to consider (note: these are new): 1. No website address or contact information 2. No call to action, like Buy Now 3. No reference to the words Like or Follow, so no ‘Like our Page’ 4. No reference to price offers The Thumbnail avatar is the second piece of visual branding. We can get all very creative and excited about our Cover Pic, but it’s worth remembering that this little 32 x 32 px thumbnail remains the image that people will see most often. So it’s important to ensure that this picture represents your brand and is highly recognisable because it represents your ongoing opportunity to create brand awareness. A simple logo or a product picture or a photo of yourself (if you are your company’s brand) would be most suitable here.
A less obvious branding opportunity is the potential to customize the navigation tabs. The links to your Photos and other Apps (formerly sitting on the left hand sidebar of your Page) are now displayed as navigation buttons just below your Cover Pic. When you first change to Timeline there will be default images inserted here. You can change the order of these buttons and use any appropriate visual or call to action here that best promotes your brand. The process behind changing
these images – while not difficult – is not very user-friendly. The how-to can be viewed here (link to come). It’s worth noting that the Photos tab cannot be moved and the image cannot be fixed. I’ve tried many ways to do this but ultimately what appears as this image will be the latest photo uploaded to the Page. If you have a 3rd party App installed for a Welcome Page or a custom written one, it will no longer work as a ‘landing’ page. This means that when a fan visits your Page they will always default to your Timeline not your welcome page. They can still click on the Welcome tab if they want to, but in all reality very few will actually do this unless you give people a reason to click to do so. 2. Your Business Biography – what you say about your business
This is a good opportunity to review your profile bio - typed in your About section. Many people will have set this up a while ago, when the Page first went live and not looked at it since. It is important to ensure your Profile (the brief summary about your business) is written in the best possible way to accurately reflect your business. It should explain what you do and should also contain your keywords. You have a lot of space here, so use it well.
If you don’t have a well-written Company Biography, now is the time to get one. Surprisingly this often needs to be done by someone outside your business to create a biography that communicates the key messages about your business without getting stuck in too much technical detail. We meet many business owners who find it very difficult to write about themselves and their business in a concise, appealing way - not to mention in a format that contains their keywords, which is essential for Search Engine Optimisation. The About section has increased space, now up to 170 characters, but here is
a big tip – within this space, make sure your paragraph contains your website address, as this will be an active link and this is the only upfront opportunity to display it. You may need to change your Business Category in order for the website to display. Having said that, if you are business operating from local premises, it may be more important for you to have your address, operating hours and phone number than your website address. Remember, you can include this in the About box regardless of the category chosen.
In addition, if you use the Local Business Category and correctly write in your address, a Map will appear as one of your navigation tabs. 3. Updates – what you say about your business on an ongoing basis
This is just as important as getting the Page set up correctly. What you say and how often you say it is the whole point of social media marketing. The new Timeline format allows you change the dates of past posts (great if you haven’t posted an update for a while), to highlight certain posts (usually ones with an image that look visually appealing) and to also choose one post that you want ‘pinned to the top’ for 7 days (your priority message). You can also tell ‘stories’ by defining key milestones in your company’s history. This is great flexibility and adds to the ‘magazine’ style of your Facebook Page, but remember that it is what you post on a regular basis and how you post (ie. using images, links etc) that is most important, as it is what goes into your fan’s newsfeeds.
Kerry Ensor is the director of Social Media Mgr, a company based in Auckland that specialises in integrating social media marketing effectively into your businesses’ overall marketing and communications strategy. www.socialmediamgr.co.nz www.facebook.com/smmgrnz
So here’s a summary of the main things that you need to do to update your Timeline 1. Cover Picture – select and upload 2. Thumbnail – select and upload 3. Images for Navigation buttons 4. Edit your About Section 5. Highlight featured post(s) 6. Prioritise your important post by posting to the top 7. Keep posting!
250g packet of Digestive biscuits 100g melted butter 2x packets of Philadelphia cream cheese 1 tin of condense milk
Put the biscuits in your kitchen whizz and blitz to make fine crumbs. With the motor running add in the melted butter. Press the crumb mixture firmly into a large loose bottom cake tin and put in the fridge.
Beat the room temperature cream cheese and condense milk together until smooth. Dissolve the gelatine with the hot water and allow to stand for a few minutes before adding to the cream cheese mix along with the lemon juice. Mix well and then pour into your prepared tin.
2 Tblspns of hot water 1 tspn gelatine Juice of 2 lemons Passionfruit
With your passionfruit you have several choices. You can add fresh passionfruit when you add the lemon juice and simply mix all through or you can add it once you have poured the mix into the tin and then swirl it around. You can also do this with a store bought lemon and passionfruit curd. Alternatively you can serve the cheesecake with passionfruit syrup (recipe in the latest edition of Nourish magazine).
THE BUSINESS NOURISH MAGAZINE Nourish is a free regional food lovers publication that is produced quarterly in both the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato. Their first Waikato issue was published in September 2010. 2000 copies were distributed free to local cafes, food stores, hairdressers and beauticians.
These went like hotcakes and the publication has been growing ever since. Now with over 10,000 copies distributed throughout the Waikato and 10,000 copies for the Bay of Plenty issue every season Nourish Magazine is growing from strength to strength. Nourish is available free to download on their website www.nourishmagazine.co.nz . Nourish magazine is well supported online with their blog, Facebook page www.facebook.com/ nourishmagazine , free Friday recipes via email and regular newsletters. THE SECOND BUSINESS - FEAST COOK SCHOOL
Whether you are a budding gourmet, an avid foodie or simply looking for inspiration Feast is there for you. Cooking classes, gourmet food tours and professional event management combine to give you Feast. Daunted by the thought of cooking?
Looking for inspiration? Or want a creative event for your social club or next get together with friends? Feast Cook School can provide the perfect solution. Check out their great classes coming up at www.feast.net.nz
THE WOMAN: VICKI RAVLICHHORAN
As a self confessed foodie, Vicki is an inspiring and dedicated businesswoman. Along with being the owner, publisher and editor for Nourish magazine and chef and event organiser for Feast Cook School she works as a sort after business consultant in the hospitality industry helping business owners to grow their business. Vicki is also the Waikato Regional Coordinator for the Venus Network.
All these ventures allow Vicki to combine her obsession with all things culinary and the skills and knowledge she has gathered from the last 15 years working in the hospitality industry. Based in the Waikato Vicki is passionate about capturing the heart and soul of fresh local flavour in her part of the world. You can contact Vicki on 021 065 1537 or email Vicki@nourishmagazine.co.nz
Business espresso We love feeling supported and encouraged in our endeavours. To have someone share their lessons, challenges and wins with us to help us navigate the road ahead. This is the role of a mentor and with Business Espresso you have a businesswoman supporting you along your journey. Each issue weâ€™ll be sharing a shot of wisdom to help you start and grow a successful business in Aotearoa.
Marketing Module: Creating a fantastic customer experience
When we have a great experience we will tell at least three other people, however, if itâ€™s a bad one then we will tell at least 8 people, so what are your customers telling their friends and families about your business! Lets start by putting our customers hat on! What are some of the best customer experiences you have had and what was it that made it so memorable?
What are the things that you think your customers would tell others about the experience they have with your business?
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My business mentor with Carlene Dredge
The Customer experience is created every time someone comes in contact with your business – not just in dealing face to face with you or your staff, but by phone, email, website and even your facebook page if you have one! What are all the touch points that your customers can use to experience your business?
Customer experience can easily be created just through little touches, for example, the chocolate fish you get with your hot chocolate at the local cafe, the double bagging of groceries at the supermarket, a thank you card asking how your new house is, from your real-estate agent. What are three things you could do to enhance your customer experience?
So many businesses spend time and money attracting new customers, but did you know that people who have already brought from you are at least 6 times more likely to buy again. One of the easiest ways to assist this process is staying in contact at least every 90 days. What are some ways you could connect with your customers every 90 days?
What are some of the questions you could ask to find out what your customers truly value?
Our world is constantly evolving, so what may have worked last month may not be relevant today. So it’s a matter of consistently re-evaluating what we do and ensuring it’s the best possible experience to get our customers returning each and every time! Carlene Dredge from defined empowers small businesses to reach the next level in their business, through increasing profits, creating high performing teams and creating simple systems to best utilise their time. www.defined.co.nz
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If you were to sprinkle a little bit of bliss into your life each day, what would it look like?
Would you be eating healthy food, walking along the beach each morning, listening to music that brings you joy, meditating, or connecting with your family and friends more often? Maybe you would be writing in a gratitude journal before you go to bed, stopping to eat lunch, or simply stepping away from your computer and spending 10 minutes outside in nature.
Imagine rising in the morning and looking at your ‘to do’ list on the fridge as you enter your kitchen. Rather than it just being filled with all the jobs you need to complete, blissful activities are added to the mix. Or picture arriving at work and checking your planner, only to discover there are moments throughout the day that are scheduled just for you. As you go about your day, which has the potential to be busy, you take a moment here and there to fill your tank and stop and smell the roses.
For some, life can be hectic and the thought of adding more to the list can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. There will be jobs on your list that you can delete or delegate. Once you begin adding bliss you will find you have more energy and you’ll be inspired, so your blissful moments will become a regular part of your day.
Before adding more to your life it’s important to make space. Take a moment to look at your ‘to do’ list. Get rid of anything that doesn’t need your attention - you don’t have to be super woman! Once you’ve made the space, take a moment to write down what bliss means to you. What would you be doing? How would you be feeling? What words come to mind? When you feel you have written everything you believe bliss means to you, take a few deep breaths and look for more. Get creative, imagine your ideal day and dream… If thoughts arise like ‘I couldn’t possibly do that’ or ‘there just isn’t enough time in the day’ just let them drift away. Whatever you believe, you can achieve. Finally when you’ve written your list of feel-good activities, add them to your diary, planner or ‘to do’ list. These activities don’t have to take up hours of your day. They can be as simple as stopping and making yourself a drink and sitting quietly for a few moments. We have the ability to say yes to so many things, how about saying yes to You!
Tracy Manu Life coach www.blossom.net.nz Tracy knows firsthand how challenging it can be to run a business, stay connected in a relationship, raise a family, (together with her husband Andy, they have a blended family of five teenagers) have a social life and most importantly take time for herself. This is why she created Blossom, a lifestyle company that supports women, by providing coaching packages, seminars and workshops.
www.venusnetwork.co.nz /p 14
There are only two ways you can save more: you can increase your income, or cut back on your spending. Here are seven great ways to save by spending less... Buy and sell second hand goods on trading websites. Have a rule that before you buy anything new, you have to get rid of something first. That way, you avoid accumulating clutter. If you have to buy new, use price comparison sites on the internet to find the cheapest deal. However, stay away from one-day deal sites to avoid impulse buying. Wait before you buy. If you have spotted a must-have pair of shoes in your lunch hour, wait until the next day or the next week before you think about buying. You might find they are not such a compelling purchase the next time you see them. Negotiate the price you pay. This is a lot easier to do if you pay cash. Negotiating can work well on a high value purchase such as a car, or something that has no value past a certain time, such as a last minute stay at a motel. Choose lower cost alternatives. Take your partner out for a romantic picnic instead of a swept-up dinner at a restaurant. Give hand-made or home grown gifts. It’s the thought that counts! Don’t pay extra for designer labels, expensive brands or the latest model gadget. Whether it is groceries, appliances, clothing, cars, haircuts, or mobile phones, let others brag about having the most expensive version while you bank your money. Try to make or fix things yourself. Better still, barter with your friends. Do you have skills, tools, or garden produce that are useful to someone else in exchange for something they can do for you?old daughter where they will help with similar building projects.
Liz Koh Money Max www.moneymax.co.nz Liz established her financial planning company—Moneymax—in 1999, after a successful career in management. Her practical, commonsense advice has led to a flourishing business and many referrals from her growing list of clients. She is in demand from newspapers, magazines and websites, and has published a best selling book—Your Money Personality: Unlock the Secret to a Rich and Happy Life, Awa Press, 2008.
www.venusnetwork.co.nz /p 15
Expert Business Advice by Hannah Samuel
BUILD HIGH-TRUST RELATIONSHIPS People do business with people, and companies, they trust. The more trusted you are the more likely you are to win business quickly and easily. So how can you build trust in every interaction you have? 1
Be Truthful Being truthful and transparent is both honourable – helping you to sleep well at night – and helpful to the person you’re dealing with, enabling them to make informed decisions. Over-promising and underdelivering is one of the biggest trust-breakers there is so avoid making untrue or misleading claims which could raise doubt about your integrity and ability to deliver.
Be Respectful The way one person wishes to be treated is often quite different to someone else. The best way to find out how someone wants to be treated is to ask them! Find out what’s important to them and deliver accordingly. The saying ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you’ should be avoided. Instead, ‘do unto others as they would like to be done unto!’
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Be Understanding Avoid making assumptions. Instead listen carefully and reflect back your understanding of their needs and wants as part of a non-threatening or intimidating conversation. Ensure you are both clear on what’s required before outlining how you may be able to help them. Genuinely Serve Resist the temptation to make a sale when you know it may not be best for them. If you’re not the right person to help them this time recommend someone who may be better suited. Focus on the relationship and longterm value for both of you rather than a short-term sale likely to leave them feeling short-changed and doubtful about your integrity.
Be Thankful Engaging in discussion with a healthy ‘attitude of gratitude’ will help people feel both valued and valuable. It also helps you focus on ensuring the best outcome for them, rather than focusing on ‘making a sale’ at all costs. A simple, ‘I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to quote’ acknowledges that they have a choice and that they are investing time and energy with you – something that’s equally important as money. If you want to make people feel good about dealing with you, build high-trust, high-value relationships, and have people recommend you more often, use the trustbuilding behaviours in every interaction.
An award-winning speaker, columnist and author, Hannah Samuel speaks, writes and mentors worldwide on issues around reputation, trust and integrity; and is the founder of online reputation service directory TRUSTcite. Find her online at hannahsamuel.com
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Businesswomen Panel: What does balance mean to you?
Here at Venus magazine we thought the best way to find out what balance meant to women in business was to ask a few women in our network. We’ve asked three women from around New Zealand to answer a few questions on purpose and how it relates to their life and business.
This, I have found helps a lot. I do slot in some ‘me time’ however the constant demands [email/phone, post earth quake issues etc] of the day seem to take over. I surround myself with positive, supportive and ‘can do’ people. I appreciate that I live on the hills and the fact that I can just go out the door and explore the hills to clear my head and bump into many friends doing the same thing.
How do you know when your life is out of balance? Trying to live without the balance of achievement and enjoyment means I am not happy, or not nearly as happy as I should be, and I am saying to myself to often “As soon as I get that job/task done...I plan on getting around to doing something for myself or with my family”
Linda Fraser teaches women to apply their own makeup and help with their skin care ‘challenges’. With my guidance they no longer need to self diagnose or self prescribe with makeup colours and skin care products - get it wrong and it is an expensive mistake(s)! The women I teach gain skills and confidence with makeup and skin care. Ranging from women who employ the ‘hit and miss approach’ to makeup and skin care, makeup novices, women of a ‘certain age’ who are stuck in a ‘makeup rut’ and makeup divas who want to learn some advanced skills and tips. Christchurch What does living a balanced life mean to you? Balanced living is when you are equally happy when working and playing. A balanced life is when I have achieved and enjoyed ‘something’ every day in my work, with my family/ friends and for myself. A balanced life brings me enjoyment, which means making a difference in someone’s life, pride in a finished task, satisfaction with the end result or outcome, happiness in both work and social areas, celebrations with family, and a sense of well being and good health.
How important is it for you to feel you are giving each area of your life time and energy? Very important-I have a passion for my job and love the challenges it throws up and love learning all the other skills I need to run my business. Sometimes these extra skills that I need to learn can take up a lot of time and energy, but I don’t feel its ‘work’ as I enjoy the challenge and sense of accomplishment when I have mastered it-so the other areas of my life, ie family and friends ‘may at times need extra effort’ to maintain that balance. I like the idea I can give myself a holiday and spend some time with my family who don’t live in ChCh. What do you do to bring your life back into balance – to recharge, reenergize yourself? Go for long walks on the hills. Spend time with my family. Give myself a day off work. Read a non-work related book and not have a PDF file in site!!!!!!!!!. Pre-quake days, I had a good social life and involved myself with friends and ChCh events, now I do volunteer work. I simplify my work schedule so I don’t have to think about a hundred things at the same time. Try and get out socializing with friends more often and not give work a thought. And I try to spend less time on social media so I can get out and enjoy getting things done rather than wasting time online!
“There is no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves, and ride the waves”. – Frank Herbert Leanne Chapman from Redcow Marketing works with all types of businesses, large and small that want to grow their business using the internet. How do you harmonize your professional and personal goals? Badly! Every night before I go to bed, I do a ‘6 Most Important List’, on Outlook Calendar, and start my day with the list, so I don’t waste time in the morning thinking about what I need to accomplish in the day.
We create a unique personalised strategy designed to meet your specific goals, and we continually analyse the results and look for ways to create more opportunities and ways to help you exceed those goals . As a result, our customers enjoy more sales and increased revenue from the internet. Kapiti Coast www.redcowmarketing.co.nz
www.venusnetwork.co.nz /p 20
What does living a balanced life mean to you? Strangely enough, living a balanced life for me means that my life is completely unbalanced! I have my own business and two small kids and I believe a balanced life is not possible, therefore I give full focus to thing in front of me at the time and stop worrying about the things I am not doing. I am also selective about the things I take on as if you mostly do the things that make you happy, the things that call upon your natural strengths, then you will feel fulfilled and balance will not seem so important. (I recommend “Find Your Strongest Life” and “Strengths Finder” by Marcus Buckingham) How do you harmonize your professional and personal goals? I am not sure I could differentiate between professional and personal goals as I think they are one in the same. I have to be happy in all areas of my life or as a whole I wont be fulfilled. If you are unhappy at work, how can you be happy at home? I am lucky enough to be doing exactly what I should be doing. In my role at Redcow Marketing, I get to use my natural strengths every day which means that my job energises me, it doesn’t leave me feeling depleted as I get to do what I do best every day.
How do you know when your life is out of balance? I am a person who likes to have time to be organised so if I feel like I am rushing from one thing to the next then I know it is time to stop and review, take a breath and decide what is important.
How important is it for you to feel you are giving each area of your life time and energy? It is hugely important. Being selective allows me to give the best of me to current event. If I have made arrangements for lunch with a friend, then I am at lunch, not half there, thinking about something I should be doing at work. In the same sense, if the work thing is urgent then my friend would rather we re-schedule than me be stressed and wishing I was somewhere else. What do you do to bring your life back into balance – to recharge, reenergize yourself? In an ideal world, a weekend away from work and home so I can re-focus and gain perspective would be great, however between running a business and having a two year old and a three year old at home, time is somewhat limited! I find having a massage gives me some time to shut my mind off for a while. I also love a good crime novel and find that reading lets me escape which gives my mind and body time to recharge.
Carlene Dredge from defined empowers small businesses to reach the next level in their business, through increasing profits, creating high performing teams and creating simple systems to best utilise their time. www.defined.co.nz Wellington What does living a balanced life mean to you? For me its understanding what is really important in my life and ensuring that I’m focusing on those areas. So it’s a mixture of awareness, action and reflection. I regularly complete a simple, wheel of balance exercise to assess what areas need attention, set actions to address those and review the results. How do you harmonize your professional and personal goals? With running a small business, my professional goals have a major impact on my personal life and can also overlap with my personal goals, and vice versa. I set 3 major goals each quarter and ensure there is a combination of professional and personal goals each time.
“understanding what is really important in my life and ensuring that I’m focusing on those areas”
How do you know when your life is out of balance? My body is very good at telling me when I’m out of balance, but I need to notice the signs before I get sick or run out of energy which can be difficult to do when life is so frantic. I also know when one of my friends or family gets in touch, and I’ve been meaning to contact them but they beat me to it! How important is it for you to feel you are giving each area of your life time and energy? As a small business owner, balance can often be very skewed. I absolutely love what I do so it’s very easy to get carried away with a project and would happily keep working all hours. So that’s where I find the wheel of balance exercise helps to put everything in perspective.
What do you do to bring your life back into balance – to recharge, reenergize yourself? Taking the dog for a walk is a great way to recharge and reenergize! Often changing your environment is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do this – going to visit a good friend, reading a book, having a massage or simply pulling the weeds out of the garden are great ways that work for me!
www.venusnetwork.co.nz /p 21
A Tail of Love...
by Vanessa Davey
When I met Deb Bodger, it didn’t take me very long to sum up she’s an avid dog lover! It was hard to miss the 4 very obvious waggy tell tail signs surrounding her, in the form of 3 Labradors and a Chihuahua, otherwise known as Emma, Benji, Charlie and Bonnie.
Settling in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, Deb took a year off work to ‘discover her passion’ and in that time became the proud ‘mum’ of 4 adorable dogs. “And that’s how I found my passion” she said. “I became consumed with all things canine and felt a sense of fulfilment like never before”. It was only when “Without a doubt, our business has Deb was looking for someone been built on word of mouth referrals special to care for her dogs whilst she went on holiday and marketing, particularly as there is so that she discovered the lack much trust involved in what we do, so of professional pet care; and before you could say woof, belonging to the Venus Network has she had sniffed out a niche in been central to our success” the market!
Rewind 7 years and you wouldn’t have found a single dog hair on her. Deb had just emigrated from the UK with her husband Tony, and waved goodbye to 20 successful years in retail management at the John Lewis Partnership. Driven to get more out of life, and to explore a different future, they decided New Zealand was the place to make it happen and have never regretted a single moment of making that decision.
With no formal qualifications or experience in the animal industry, Deb took a sip from the great big cup of courage and created Pet Partners Pet Minding and Dog
www.venusnetwork.co.nz /p 22
Walking service. Fast forward 6 years and Pet Partners has become the premier pet care service in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, offering a comprehensive range of care options including: In Your Home Pet Minding, Dog Walking, Doggy Day Care, Doggy Home Stay, Pet Taxi and Home Services. “Without a doubt, our business has been built on word of mouth referrals and marketing, particularly as there is so much trust involved in what we do, so belonging to the Venus Network has been central to our success”
Deb also goes on to say “I knew I had a awful lot to learn about pet care and being in business, it sounds like a bit of a cliché, but I knew my passion and enthusiasm would get me through” And it has, and it continues. Pet Partners is now a thriving local business, with a strategy in place to offer a national service by the end of 2012 through licensing the brand. “Growing a national business whilst still having to go out and walk dogs and feed cats makes for an interesting day! I’m lucky enough to have found a career that stimulates me mentally, physically and emotionally, and for me; this is my measure of success”
Don’t allow your lack of qualifications or knowledge to hold you back from doing what you love. There isn’t a job in the world where you don’t need to learn something and just because you haven’t done it before, doesn’t mean you can’t do it now.
You get out of life what you put in to it. If you’re driven by your passion, chances are you’ll go further, stay longer and achieve more. Define and live by ‘your’ measure of success, not somebody else’s. Get a pet, life is simply happier! www.petpartners.co.nz
Focus on running your business while we reach your potential clients Contact Susan Today: 027 281 1781 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Do you need to hire staff but don’t know where to start? • Does a vacancy in your team fill you with dread? • Have you ever struggled to find the right words in the interview process? • Are you worried about how to keep your customers happy while you are busy finding staff? • Do you feel your blood pressure rising when you are faced with the selection of candidates?
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find a group 24 Venus Groups are located around New Zealand.
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