Saturday, March 28, 2009

News of Interest: Measures To Unlock Credit For Small Businesses

Are you feeling the credit crunch? Most certainly you are yet it's the small business owners, like us, who are the real drivers of economic recovery and job creation. The latest evidence announced by the White House indicates that there will be a series of measures to help address the credit crunch facing many small firms.

The White House and Small Business Administration (SBA) hope to address these problems with three new policy directions.

Learn about them here.

We plan to discuss these measures at an upcoming WPO Chicago chapter meeting April 21 with the help of two experts: a bank and tax executive. Our goal is to learn everything we can about how to access funds for our businesses when they become available and at the same time, minimize taxes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Event: Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) Annual Conference in San Diego April 23-25, 2009

The Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) will hold its 12th annual 2009 International Conference, entitled Sustainability: Securing the Future, in San Diego on April 23-25 at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, hosting more than 500 successful women entrepreneurs for keynote speakers, workshops and discussions.

The conference encourages WPO members to share business strategies and experience with other successful women from all over North America, as well as learn from interactive seminars and speakers. Further, it will provide potential members who qualify a unique opportunity to experience the impact the WPO has on women business owners professionally, and personally.

Keynote speakers will include:

1. Meg Whitman, Former President and CEO of eBay
2. T. Boone Pickens, Founder and CEO, BP Capital
3. Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO, Act-1 Personnel Services and WPO Board Member
4. Adam Werbach- Global CEO, Saatchi and Saatchi S

Additionally, the conference will feature a program led by Judi Sheppard Missett, CEO and founder of Jazzercise Inc. According to entrepreneur Judi Sheppard Missett, there are three elements in music that compare to building a business — the bass beat, the cadence and the melody. Missett will demonstrate how her trilogy is the key to any thriving business and will lead you in an interactive journey to explore a proven formula for success.

Catherine Corley, Vice President of Business Marketing for Sam’s Club will moderate a panel of four successful WPO CEOs who have outstanding sustainable initiatives, including Laura J. Allen from Vision Education & Media, Hallie Satz from HighRoad Press, Katherine Putnam from Package Machinery Company, Inc., and Susan Daywitt from SLM- Facility Solutions Nationwide.

ACT NOW: Click here to go to the WPO's official conference site.

Note: If you pre-qualify for WPO but are not a member yet, you are still able to attend our conference. Please contact us (if you are located in Chicago) at 773-381-1700 or email ldelaney(at) to learn more. Elsewhere, call 212-688-4114. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Event: The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast (3/20)

The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast, "Positioning Yourself For Board Success" will be held Friday, March 20, 2009 at the The Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan). WPO Chicago is a proud partner of this empowering high-level women's program.

Registration is 7:00 a.m. Seated Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. Panel Discussion, 8:00 a.m. For more information and to register, visit here.

Click on logo below for immediate PDF download of program:

See you there!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Article of Interest: Walls of Separation

Are you inadvertently building a wall between your company and your clients? I am sure by now you caught Tropicana's recent rejected package design. If you haven't, watch Peter Arnell explaining why it failed. It will fill you in. Then you'll know what I am talking about.

But back to you and your business. Are you keeping in good touch with your customers? Do you think you have a better relationship with them than they do to each other?

Not all brands seem to be increasingly "out of touch" with their own customers (for example, the Women Presidents Organization). Yet here's what David Armano thinks over at his Logic+ Emotion blog that might be some of the walls that are separating customers from a business.

One is particular is:
Tone Deafness
If you've lost the ability to connect and empathize with your customers, then you've become tone deaf. This means you can look at the data, the demographics and the numbers but never really understand, relate or "get" them in any meaningful way. So it's natural that your preference of communication will be one way vs. a dialogue. It's easier to maintain. Tone deafness becomes a barrier when you can see your customers, but can't figure out how to touch them anymore.
Read more here.

Now it's your turn. Care to share on what you are doing to see and touch your customers -- to relate to them on every level? We are all ears.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Article of Interest: Six Ways To Make Web 2.0 Work

As the popularity of Web 2.0 has grown, so has anxiety over how to use the range of technologies to our advantage. Many companies are experimenting with the tools or deploying them on a trial basis.

To help companies navigate the Web 2.0 landscape, the authors identified six critical factors that determine the outcome of efforts to implement the technologies. They are as follows:

1. The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top.

2. The best uses come from users—but they require help to scale.

3. What’s in the workflow is what gets used.

4. Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs—not just their wallets.

5. The right solution comes from the right participants.

6. Balance the top-down and self-management of risk.

You won't want to miss this article published at The McKinsey Quarterly on "Six ways to make Web 2.0 work" which presents a vast array of opportunities -- for companies that know how to use Web 2.0 (including blogs, podcasts, wikis and social networks).

Web 2.0 promises further gains, although the capabilities differ from those of the past technologies (Exhibit 3 above).

Go here to learn more.