April 30, 2007
Today’s Magic Wand: Lisa Callsen, our new Virtual Assistant here at Start Up Princess (we’re so excited!) shared a great tool with us, Copyscape. This site will help writers/bloggers/internet sites to track whether or not someone else is using their copyrighted material. Do a search on your site today!
April 30, 2007
This post is by Fairy Godmother Erika Wilde, Internet Reseller. Her thriving company, Stop Dirt specializes in floor mats. Erika has a strong background in mentoring women entrepreneurs in how to start a profitable online dropshipping business. Erika now offers consulting through Start Up Princess on the following subjects: starting and managing an internet reseller business, beginning internet marketing, and dropshipping. Currently we’re offering an introductory rate, 2hrs of consulting for 1hr rate. Contact us for details.
Every good business owner knows the importance of good customer service. But when you run an internet-only business with no face-to-face contact and very little phone contact with your customers, how can you still exceed your customersâ€™ expectations?
Here are a few things that have worked for me:
1. Always, always respond to your customers. It sounds so simple, but it is amazing how a timely, complete reply can please a customer. If the request is complicated, at minimum I always send a quick email to thank the customer for her question. Then I provide an exact date when she can expect a reply.
2. Start every written communication with a â€œThank you.â€ For example, if a customer emails to ask about the thickness of my Waterhog Mats, I do not write back a curt: â€œ1/4â€ thick.â€ Instead, I take the extra minute to write â€œThank you for your interest in our mats. The Waterhog mat measures Â¼â€ thick. Itâ€™s my best selling mat â€“ very durable and good looking. I hope this info answers your question. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.â€ Then I conclude always with my full name, phone number and contact info.
3. Invest in Email Short Cuts. If you write a lot of business emails, I recommend buying an email platform that allows you to write templates and macros for commonly used phrases. Iâ€™ve used PocoMail and Barca (online at www.pocomail.com for $35-$75) for years. I have hundreds of short cut keys that save me an enormous amount of time while making me sound very complete and polite. For example, I type â€œFFâ€ and Barca prints out â€œFeel free to contact me by phone or email if I can be of further assistance to you.â€ Whew! What a time saver!
April 28, 2007
On April 24th we held our first Start Up Princess Networking Tea Party in Los Angeles! The event was held at Start Up Princess Dayna Brooks‘ of Baby Jakes gorgeous home. It was wonderful meeting each other for the first time (complete with 8 children). It’s always a miracle to get very busy women entrepreneurs together, especially when there’s LA traffic to consider, everyone had to travel about 1 hour each way to attend. I was truly grateful for the effort and sacrifices everyone made to be there.
We enjoyed yummy fruit, bagels, muffins, and juice while we took time to discuss each Start Up Princess’s business and offered suggestions to help them “grant their business wish for 2007.” Some of the wishes were how to find manufacturing resources for clothing, relocating a business out of state, maintaining business day-to-day while being a mom, hiring help for business growth and development, staying sane on lack of sleep, enjoying the journey of being a start up business owner and a mom of young children. We had a lot of ideas for each other, but mostly I think it was forming deeper friendships and business associations that was the most worthwhile for all of us. I really enjoyed our mentoring/brainstorming together and I hope it was helpful to each of those who attended. There was a real feeling of support and encouragement. I hope we can have more events like this in the future and have even more members of the Start Up Princess Kingdom attend in Los Angeles. At the event Heather Ledeboer was given her “wings” as Fairy Godmother and she now will be a guest blogger, speaker, and consultant for Start Up PRincess. We’re thrilled to have Heather join the ranks.
Attending the event (as pictured): Kelly King Anderson (me), founder of Start Up Princess and my two girls, Debbie Savage of Baby Emi Jewelry and her two girls, Dayna Brooks of Baby Jakes and her two boys, Heather Ledeboer of Mom 4 Life and her son and daughter, and Christine King (not pictured) of Little Jeanyus. (children were 11 months-3 years)Â I apologize it’s not the best photo!
April 27, 2007
The May issue of Costco Connection is out! Costco Connection has a circulation of 6.5 million readers, so we’re rejoicing that Start Up Princess Marina Westerdahl of Gissy Bella is featured and her new commissioned compensation plan for independent mom representatives around the country. Marina is quoted, I would love for women who have an idea, but feel it isÂ too hard, to know that you have to just do it.Â You’ll learn as you go.Â You gain so much confidence and self-fulfillment when you take something that you believe in and make it happen. When they asked Marina what resources she recommended, she told them about Start Up Princess!
The article’s “more information for mom entrepreneurs” says, “Do a Google search for “mompreneur” and you’ll get 67,000 choices. Sites such as Ladies Who Launch, Start Up Princess.com (www.startupprincess.com) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (www.nawbo.org) are full-blown communities, providing support and creating relationships while dispensing the advice–business and work/life balance–that was so lacking a decade ago.” The article also features Start Up Princess under “Resources for Mom Entrepreneurs”.
Marina heard about the opportunity here at Start Up Princess and responded to the invitation. It’s a great article and features several mom entrepreneurs with inspiring stories. By the way, I’m using Gissy Bella’s Comfy Crawler pink striped pants with my baby Bella and they are fabulous. Enjoy the press Marina (we are too, thanks so much for the mention!)
April 27, 2007
Fairy Godmothers Carrie and Danielle’s wisdom on anxiety hits home to a lot of us women entrepreneurs. Maybe you have a lunch meeting today with a potential investor, financial stress, or maybe you’re trying to find a babysitter at the last minute–anything can trigger anxiety. For me it’s often how I handle my kids crying in the car! On a bigger level, I remember two years ago speaking in front of several thousand people for the Rice University business plan competition and my heart was pounding so hard I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack. I had to take a moment before I started and pray to ask for strength to get through the moment and do my best. I felt peace instantly, my heart still pounded during the presentation, but I did well. We cannot have faith and fear at the same time.
Carrie and Danielle:
2. Eager, often agitated desire.
Sometimes anxiety can flare out of the blue, or in direct response to a thought or circumstance. Naturally, we want to get as far away from it as possible – which just gets us anxious about feeling anxious. What if we welcomed it when it showed up?
Danish philosopher SÃ¶ren Kierkegaard believed that anxiety was actually a valuable tool (not an obstacle) for shaping our ideal lives. He taught that the remedy for anxiety is â€œto choose to be the self which one truly is.â€
When you get the tummy trembles, struggle to catch your breath, or feel tangled in mind fuzz â€“ just stop and notice. Itâ€™s ideal to be curious, rather than judgmental in your noticing. Donâ€™t fight it. A simple â€œHmmm, Iâ€™m feeling anxiousâ€ will keep you level.
When anxiety knocks, ask it, â€œWhat can I do for you?â€ You might get some surprising requests. Maybe your anxiety wants to go for a walk, sketch out a new plan, make a confession, or laugh hysterically. Or maybe it wants to smash plates, write a nasty letter, or holler hysterically.
Make a choice.
Which response to your anxiety would support the true you? Would laughing or plate-smashing expand or contract your being? Either might melt the jitters. Either wayâ€¦
Anxiety is a road sign. Youâ€™re in the driverâ€™s seat. Navigate by the light of your truth.
April 25, 2007
Start Up Princess Melissa DeMordaunt, Snugabug Baby recently introduced me to Kristy Glass, new member of the Start Up Princess kingdom. Kristy “plays a mom on TV and in print” and is one in real life. She has an impressive resume, including work in some of the most famous theatres in NYC. You can see her full resume here. I had the opportunity to interview Kristy as she’s competing to be the host of Real Savvy Moms TV show and she’s one of the top 5 finalists (they will select 2). Viewers get to vote and she wants you to see her fun video and consider her! I just watched all of the videos and I agree…she’s perfect for the part! Watch her video and VOTE! The competition ends April 29th.
Here’s the Start Up Princess interview with Kristy Glass:
Tell us about the competition and why you want to be the host of Real Savvy Moms:
This competition is for 2 new hosts of the television show produced by Real Savvy Moms. I am unsure where it tapes, but I know their staff is located in NYC. I want to be a part of it because it is the perfect marriage of my work and home life. I am in the “TV” business and I am a mother, and I am passionate about both, so it’s PERFECT.
As a model/singer/actress YOU are your â€œbrandâ€, how is that?
I have a friend who teases me, and calls me “Kristy Glass Incorporated”. The great thing about being the brand is that you just be yourself. In fact, if I strayed from who I really am, I feel that my “brand” would never succeed.
How do you handle rejection?
It used to be very difficult on me. My lowest point was about 4 years ago when I experienced my first (and hopefully last) anxiety attack over not getting a part. I realized in that very scary moment that it was completely UNHEALTHY for me to get SO invested in any one job. I keep statistics on my work, and last year I booked 17% of my jobs, but I was always busy, had my highest earnings year ever, and I was happy, so even though I was rejected 83% of the time, it didn’t feel like that because now I just take it in stride. I leave the audition and forget about it. Having two demanding children helps, because I don’t have time to dwell on it. Read more
April 23, 2007
Fairy Godmother Heather Ledeboer brought a stunning gift basket overflowing with amazing gifts created by women entrepreneurs to Ellen producers for consideration for a show gift for pregnant mom guests.
Heather writes about how this opportunity happened: The owner of 2 Virtues (whose product is on Mom4Life , Heather Allard emailed me and said “Hey Heather, Ellen is going to have a show for pregnant moms! If you contact them and can offer a product for the audience I will be a part of it!” I am working with Orca and contacted my rep about the opportunity. She contacted the Ellen Show’s producers and arranged for me to submit a gift basket. I contacted the companies on my site to see who wanted to be a part of it and if we were chosen, they would donate 300 products and I had over 30 companies reply and a gift basket valued at over $1,060 in just two days! Wow! Now I wait to hear if they want Mom 4 Life gift baskets for all the attendees of the show.
Here is a list of what was included in the gift basket featuring many women entrepreneurs that have products sold on Mom 4 Life! There’s some fabulous products here you can put on your wish list for Mother’s Day!!
Get Some Sleep, Baby
Swaddleaze by 2 Virtues makes swaddling simple, snappy and safe in the plushest, softest fabric weâ€™ve ever felt. Babies that are swaddled sleep better, which means you sleep better! Swaddleaze can also be used as a cozy sleep sack when your sweet dreamer outgrows swaddling. Hit the Snooze Button when you add the WubbaNub Plush Toy Pacifier to babyâ€™s nighttime routine. And donâ€™t fret if that adorable pacifier gets lost in the dark. Just click on the Babeebrite Hands Free Mobile Light Source by MommyBeeHappy for just the right amount of light to scour the nursery floor.
Whether you decide that breast is best or the bottle is the bomb, feeding will be a breeze with the Breastfeeding Comprehensive DVD by Mother of 7, Bravado Essential Nursing Bra Tank Top,, Kipiis Bib Clip, and Happi Tummy Colic Relief Waistband.
April 23, 2007
Start Up Princess Amy Cham just “tagged me“, asking me “Why I Blog.” Here are Start Up Princess’s Top 5 Reasons:
1. We love to share what we learn
2. We’re trying to make a difference to those who read this blog–mainly women entrepreneurs
3. Ultimately, we’re creating a website community, not only a blog, but this was the fastest and most affordable way to start
4. Blogs are one of the top ways to reach our target audience
5. Its AMAZING to meet people from all over the world while being a mom working at home!
Now I tag:
April 22, 2007
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~ Anais Nin
Are there things you want to try, experiences you long to have but for whatever reason, you’re afraid? Our fear can become a prison, and stand between fulfilling our dreams and a life of possibilities. Fear can keep us from becoming the fully formed person we were meant to be.
Courage, as an antidote to Fear means we are willing to step out of that comfort zone, and live life with purpose!
Recently I saw a movie that honored the courage, passion and determination of such a man. In the movie, Amazing Grace, William Wilberforce’s story is told. His story is one of a man, reluctant at first to claim his greatness, but eventually embraces all that he feels compelled to do and the movement for good he becomes is an amazing story of courage (at the end of the post you will find a link and more info).
Closer to home, recently one of our CherishBound Storytellers inspired us with her courage and willingness to step out of her comfort zone. Toni Calhoun, of Texas, recently held a culminating event for a group of children she had helped to publish stories. When an overly-critical person threatened the tone of the event, and challenged Toni’s efforts, our Cherish Bound storyteller remained composed, stood and shared the following with everyone there.
Toni said, â€œI know that you are all here to hear the children, … so Iâ€™ll be brief, but I have a few things I want to tell you. I have met you all, and I wonâ€™t take time to talk about myself, other than to tell you that I am a certified teacher. The reason that I want you to know that is because I hope that it lends credibility to the words of praise that I bestow upon your children.â€
I told them a little more than they already knew about Cherish Bound. I impressed upon them that it is not about the books, but about the stories they contained, and briefly talked about the importance of stories. Read more
April 19, 2007
ATTENTION! Every entrepreneur needs to take advantage of this offer! You want press right? You want wide distribution, right? You want it affordable, right? You want it from PRWeb then…it’s the best on the web.
Today’s Magic Wand: Fairy Godmother Ponn Sabra of Empower Women Now has set up an amazing deal with PRWeb for entrepreneurs! Here’s your chance to get a $200 credit at PRWeb! There are “rules of the game” but it’s all good…check it out. There’s only 50 slots per week. Ponn is trying to help you grow your business and hers too…she’s a power networker.
Don’t have time or don’t know how to write a press release? Ponn will help you with that too (for $200).