May 28, 2009
Lisa Peck, Life Coach, Author, mother of 7 and “Step It Up Queen” asked some very introspective questions at our SLC Startup Princess Chapter event recently. (This the 2nd of six posts focusing on the subject “What I Learned My First Year in Business”. The first if you missed it was by Rachael Herrscher of Today’s Mama. The following are Startup Princess Founder, Kelly King Anderson’s notes from the event)
What are your core values?
What are the words you’re using to describe yourself and your business?
What are you drawn to?
What makes you most fulfilled?
Once you know the answers to these questions Peck suggests finding a mentor who can help you be more authentic self and not put their values onto yours.
Peck suggests that one business strategy that has been successful for her is to make one major goal per quarter.
Way to go Lisa, great questions and advice. I’m definitely encouraged to focus on one major goal per quarter, what a great way to break it down. Thank you for your wisdom and contributing to Startup Princess!
May 28, 2009
Knowing what you have is often the key to knowing where you can go. Managing and maintaining a healthy cash flow is essential for a business to grow and thrive. Below are a few ideas for better managing your cash flow, review each idea and ask “do we do this in our business” and if so “why or why not “. Adding just of few of these ideas to your business management can help to improve your cash flow and increase profitability.
- Make prompt payments to suppliers only when discounts apply, otherwise schedule payments near due date
- Maintain good business relations with all suppliers
- Sell items for cash or credit cards rather than on terms
- Accept deposits with balance due upon shipment
- Offer discounts to customers for early payment
- Don’t let policies automatically renew – review them first and shop around for a better deal
- Invoice clients/customers as soon as work is done or order filled – don’t wait
- Be sure the invoice due date is clear and prominent – large BOLD print is best
- Review monthly accounts receivable – who owes you money – and follow up immediately
- Be aggressive in collecting debts
- Require customers to be current on their account before doing additional work
- Deposit payments promptly into an interest bearing checking account
- Reduce inventory to the most necessary items
- Dispose of slow moving items (sell at cost or bundle and discount etc.)
- Vary prices by season
- Encourage non-urgent customers to wait for delivery until a slower time of year
*ideas adapted from Squire Insights Corporate Education Series “Cash Flow Best Practices”
If you’re in Utah County, Square offers FREE Quickbooks courses. Visit www.squire.com for more information.
Competing in My First Triathlon May 16th to Raise Funds for One Heart Bulgaria * Donations of $25 or more will be Entered to WIN Free Ad on Startup Princess.com
May 11, 2009
Friends, I’m excited to share that in less than 6 days I’ll be jumping into the pool to do my first triathlon “Women of Steel” in American Fork, Utah (a sprint): 300 meter swim, 12.4 mile bike and 3 mile run. I’m doing the triathlon to reach a big personal fitness goal, but more importantly to raise awareness and raise funds for one of my favorite charities, One Heart Bulgaria. I’ll be competing with Deborah Gardner, President of One Heart Bulgaria, plus my dear friend of 15 yrs! We’re excited for the event and to spread the word about the children.
You might remember that I am very connected to this organization as a Founding Trustee and recently went to Bulgaria in March with President Deborah Gardner and Musicians Mindy Gledhill and Sam Payne to bring joy and serve children. Since then they’ve been on my mind as I’ve trained and as I’ve considered what they need most…prayers, love, extra staff, medical supplies, extra curricular activities, and so much more. Check out more about the foundation and how you might be able to help or get involved.
Here’s how you can support the children-make a one time donation of $25 or more on One Heart Bulgaria THIS WEEK (deadline Saturday) and you’ll be entered to WIN a Free Ad 125×125 button ad on StartupPrincess.com ($100 value). We’ll also link to you and your company on our site as a thank you and announce it on Twitter.
Thank you for granting a wish for children in Bulgaria living under difficult circumstances.
May 11, 2009
You’ve followed all of the marketing experts’ advice, built up your list and are sending out newsletters and emails to keep in contact with everyone. You’ve been using Outlook to keep track of all of your contacts and emails, but as your list grows, you’re finding it tougher to track the results you’re getting from your emails, and you’d like to incorporate more features into your emails. There are so many email marketing tools out there, but how do you know which one has the features you want at a price you can afford?
We’ve put together a list of some email marketing tools that came recommended to us a while back on Twitter. All of the email marketing tools on this list offer the same basic services: sending email newsletters, templates, and autoresponder setup, just to name a few. Listed here are some of the unique and different features offered by each service. Prices have also been included and are based on a 1,300 contacts or emails, depending on the information provided by each service.
Act-On provides customizable templates and stationery for your email to help set you apart from the rest. It also contains a graphical form builder to allow you to create forms and surveys. If you have distribution lists located in several places, Act-On can bring them together and consolidate them into one for you, making your distribution list easier to manage. Act-On also tracks your emails through the sending process and provides you real-time reports on who opens your email, clicks on your links and replies to you. Act-On does not provide cost information on their website, but they do offer a 30 day free trial for their services.
Aweber not only tracks website clicks using your domain name rather than tracking links so people know where they’re being directed to from your newsletter, it also will automatically tweet your newsletter onto Twitter. Using Aweber you can segment subscribers based on who clicked or didn’t click links in your newsletter and send follow-up emails accordingly. It can also split test messages to find the best offer or subject line for you. Another feature that is becoming popular among email marketing tools that Aweber offers is the ability to convert your blog’s RSS feed into an email newsletter. You can find a full list of Aweber’s features here. Prices for Aweber run $29/month for 501-2,500 subscribers.
Campaign Monitor uses Google Analytics to track your email campaign-related sales. Using this service, you are able to customize the sign-up and unsubscribe process for each distribution list you manage. It also will take care of all bounced email and spam complaints. You can find a full list of Campaign Monitor’s features here. Using Campaign Monitor, there are no setup charges or monthly costs, you only pay when you send. There is a flat delivery fee of $5 per campaign, plus 1 cent for each recipient. So if you are sending your email to 1,000 people, your cost would be $15 – the $5 flat delivery fee plus $10 for all of your recipients.
Emma includes a custom design template done by their company with their setup fee. They offer a month-to-month service contract rather than an annual contract, which can save you money if you do not send something out every month. They also offer 10% off everything when you sign up for a full year of their services. A unique benefit Emma offers is that they plant five trees for each customer who uses their company’s service. A full list of benefits can be found here. The cost for Emma’s services is $30/month for 1,000 or $40 for 2,500 emails. There is a $249 one-time setup fee.
iContact provides its customers with 500kb of image hosting and uses T3 connected servers, making sure your messages are delivered quickly. An exclusion list feature allows you to choose lists or segments of lists to determine who should and should not receive a specific message delivery. iContact provides event RSVP management and follow-up, and also allows you to send automated messages to subscribers based on date or how long they have subscribed to your list. A full list of iContact’s features can be found here. Prices for iContact is $29/month or $313.20/year for up to 2,500 contacts.
MailerMailer offers its customers a customized signup form for their new distribution list members. You are also able to copy and paste HTML code or use a page from your website as a template for your emails; and they also provide a fill-in-the-blank template to customize your emails. MailerMailer will confirm all of your opt-ins, and provides live tracking of all your emails so you know where your campaigns are. You can find a full list of features here. Sending up to 20,000 emails per month runs $29.95 per month, and they also offer a 200 email free trial.
Mailchimp’s features include screenshots of your email in all major email clients so you can make sure it will appear correctly to everyone. They perform quick and automatic A/B tests with every email campaign to ensure what works and what doesn’t so your email campaign runs smoothly. You are also able to change and personalize the content you send based on each recipient’s interests or any other criteria you have set for your list. Each email is authenticated, meaning it embeds a code into the email header that guarantees your email is not blocked by filters. Mailchimp also has the ability to keep track of campaigns on your iPhone or other mobile device. For a full list of features, visit http://www.mailchimp.com/features/. Prices for 501-2,500 subscribers is $30/month, and they also offer a PAYGO plan to use as you need.
My Newsletter Builder
My Newsletter Builder is 99% delivery verified, so you know your emails will get to where they need to be, when they need to be there. They also offer one-click Audio, Video, Flash and eVoiceSpot so you can include different types of media in your emails. My Newsletter Builder provides automated sign-up, subscription and referral systems, as well as automated survey and newsletter creation, including real-time tracking and statistics. A full list of features can be found here. Prices for My Newsletter Builder vary depending on the options you choose. For example, for $20/month, you can send unlimited emails to 1,001-1,500 subscribers. You can also choose the standard option, paying $18/month for 1,500 emails or $24/month for 2,500 emails. My Newsletter Builder also offers options to pay in bulk amounts per month or year, along with a 30 day free trial of their services.
Vertical Response offers free data hosting for your distribution lists as well as a free opt-in form. They also offer tracking and reporting to see how many people opened your emails or clicked on links in real time, and are anti-SPAM compliant. You can see a full list of benefits here. Vertical Response offers monthly or PAYGO options. For an email list size 501-2,000, the cost would be $28/month. If you choose a PAYGO option, it is $.13 per email for 1,001 – 2,500 emails (or $13 per 1,000 emails, 1300 emails would be roughly $16.90/month).
Mary Havlicek creates more hours in the days of busy small business owners, especially mompreneurs. Her Virtual Assistant company, Hours by Design, offers copywriting, social media and general marketing services. With her decade of administrative experience, Mary takes tasks off her clients’ hands and puts back time for them to focus on putting energy back into their businesses and spending time with their families and children.
When she’s not creating time in her clients’ days, Mary enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.
May 7, 2009
Angie Trelastad and her company, Solerra recently sponsored sunless tanning products at The Startup Princess Academy at Disneyland for the speakers and attendees, so I’ve had the chance to learn about Solerra and try their products firsthand.
I’m getting ready for my first triathlon so I thought it would look nice to look a bit sunkissed, fortunately there’s products out there like Solerra to help fair skinned-skin-cancer-proned girls like me. I was really happy with the natural look of Solerra and thought the products were easy to apply and the color has lasted for several days. The products felt smooth and wonderful on my skin.
I love that Angie and her company are promoting healthy skin care and are involved in the campaign to help increase awareness about the damaging effects of the sun. This month is Skin Cancer Awareness month and Solerra is active in the campaign through http://www.skinaf.org. Congratulations Angie for creating a great product and for raising your voice for a good cause! Here’s more about Angie and her company:
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
Current Residence (City, State): Colorado Springs, CO
Education: High School Graduate followed by the University of hard knock entrepreneurship. While my high school graduating class was hitting the books, I was starting my own business.
Professional Background (brief, please): Restaurant owner (I owned 2 restaurants before the age of 30) Writer, short stories, articles, book Queen of the Urban Jungle. Personal protection instructor to women as a passion, but have worked with men and women, celebrities, law enforcement and civilians. Started in cosmetics, sunless tanning, eight years ago and have enjoyed creating the latest technologies for the perfect self tanner and working with the Skin Cancer Awareness Foundation www.skincaf.org .
What you wanted to be when you grew up: A librarian
What you are: Writer and cosmetic executive
Brief Summary of your Start Up: The company was started with the patented Invisicare® tanning formulation and the patent pending tanning mitt. These two new technologies brought a perfect blend of beauty and science to self-tanning. I started with company after they had worked on the mitt technology for two years and was recruited to come into the company and help to perfect the manufacturing process and build the brand.
Company Website? www.solerra.com
What inspired you? As a red head, I have never had great luck with self-tanners. I had pre cancer removed from my face at the age of 17, and my sister was diagnosed with melanoma 2 years ago. I was working in the self tanning industry and developed a passion for being a part of creating the “perfect” self tanner that was affordable yet luxurious and could be used in the privacy of your own home.
How long have you been in business? Solerra® was incorporated in 2004 and I came on board in 2006
How did you fund it? The majority partner recruited me to come in and add my expertise to Solerra; the founder is funding the company.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? My mom has always been an inspiration to me. If there is someone I aspire to be like it would definitely be my mother.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? Linked In and Plaxo are the two I use most. I am starting to use twitter, but am still learning. I serve on the advisory board of the Skin Cancer Awareness Foundation
Current Business Challenge? When building a new brand the biggest challenge is market penetration. It is a challenge to get stores to stock an unknown brand. In the current economical situation, rather than being the first to carry a brand, stores want to wait until you have notoriety, and to get notoriety, you have to have penetration.
What are you doing about it? We are doing more online marketing and have been very fortunate in the “buzz” and “word of mouth” advertising. Once people try Solerra, they love it and come back again and again. We are blessed with loyal customers and really appreciate the fact that they share with all of their friends, who then become loyal customers. Celebrity branding, creating a customer base to create a demand in the mass retail sector. Creative marketing and advertising.
Favorite motivational quote: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” Helen Keller
Family? Yes! Two daughters 24, and 29 two sons 27 and 31 and 3 beautiful grandkids…2 girls and 1 boy.
If so, how do you balance family and business? Very carefully, I feel it is important to maintain priorities, God, Family and business.
Favorite book? The Bible, and of course, I have to plug my book, Queen of the Urban Jungle
What do you do to relax? Spend time with my husband who happens to be my best friend. I like to ride dirt bikes, write and read.
What do you want to change most about your world? I would like people to care more about one another.
What are you most proud of? My son James, has served two tours of duty in Iraq and I am very proud of him and very glad to have him back in the US.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? Whatever you do, do it with passion. Don’t ever feel like a failure, when something doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, consider it a learning process. If you fall down seven times, get up eight.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? The internet, what did we ever do before the internet?
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? If I were to design a tiara I would use rough coal, hematite and diamonds, set in sterling silver. Reasons? The most precious diamonds start as rough coal and at the mid-point of perfection I imagine appear as hematite (often called black diamonds) and upon completion transform into beautiful, sparkling diamonds. Sterling silver is beautiful when shiny and clean, however, if not maintained, it will tarnish. This Tiara to me, seems to be a true reflection of life and success. Life, like success, is achieved through pressure and polish and the sterling silver, if not maintained, will tarnish.
Thank you Angie, and welcome to Startup Princess! Leave a comment or question for Angie here.
May 4, 2009
Dreams do come true! Nearly three years ago when I started the concept for Startup Princess I envisioned retreats at fabulous places all over the world… one of those places being the DISNEYLAND HOTEL> so it was a personal joy to host the Startup Princess Academy April 17-18th there. Thank you, thank you to all of our Fairy Godmothers who shared their expertise and all of the Startup Princesses (and Startup Wizard, Brian Williams!) who participated from all over the country and Canada to attend! A special thank you to my partner, Michelle McCullough, Startup Princess Business Development Director for making the event so magical for everyone. (Photo: Janice Croze 5minutesformom.com, speaker Alexis Neely “America’s Family Lawyer”, and Kelly King Anderson, Startup Princess)
All of the Fairy Godmothers were really over the top AWESOME with their content and mentoring. (Photo: Maria Andros “Video Marketing Queen” with attendee Justine Green “Princess Amerah”). I learned a great deal from each of them, pages and pages of notes! Here’s a peek at one of the presentations “How to Pitch to Bloggers” by Fairy Godmother Ciaran Blumenfeld, @momfluential Read more
May 1, 2009
Allison Yrungaray was featured at the May 5th Startup Princess Orange County Chapter with the topic “Do it Yourself Marketing”. Here’s more about Allison:
Allison Yrungaray’s company, Notice PR is a boutique public relations agency that has been building brand awareness and obtaining publicity for small businesses for the past 10 years. They specialize in a variety of services from a simple press release to a national press tour. They can create a customized public relations campaign designed to maximize your budget. They target print, broadcast, and online media to reach your target audience – and as the news industry constantly changes, they keep up with the trends and specialize in new and social media.
How long have you been doing PR, Allison? 10 yrs.
What made you decide to get into the field? It was the right fit as a college degree, because I loved writing, speaking, and the variety of the clients.
What was one of your favorite projects? One of my clients is Startup Princess Fairy Godmother, Rachael Herrscher and her company, Today’s Mama. I enjoyed our marketing campaign when we did the Sittercity Partnership and received a lot of national press- CNN, Wall-street Journal, evidence that the power of a good partnership with national trends and relevant news gets good press.
How you balance work with running your home? After I had my twins I started to use a sitter part-time, 4 hrs a day, it’s perfect. (She has a 5, almost 3 yr old twins).
We’re going to be talking about “Do it Yourself Marketing” on May 5th, give us an insight to a tip you will be sharing: I suggest to first take the time to create action plan for how make time for marketing in your schedule with just 30 minutes a day.
How much focus should be on social media vs. traditional PR? Depends on your target market, if you’re finding the people you want to reach are on social media or not. I suggest 50% on both.
Another PR tip to share? Choose 1 publication or website you want to get press with and focus one at a time. Reach out to them and create a really good relationship with them and then move on.
How would you create a good relationship with the press? Social media, calling, emails have to be personal (not a mass email or press release). For example for a blogger, “I read an article on your website about… I’d like to share …. I think it’s relevant to your audience and would like to see if you’d be interested in featuring… ”
Tell me about your services:
Public relations planning and campaign development
Press releases, media alerts, press kits
Custom media list creation
Pitching and establishing long term relationships with media
Award and speaking opportunity outreach
Copywriting including byline articles, case studies, and newsletter content
Thank you Allison for speaking at our event, the OC Startup Princesses are fortunate to have you! Follow Allison on Twitter @Allison_Y or contact her at 626.841.1640 or allison <at> noticepr.com