Articles

Tuesday Tips #05: Think About your End User - Show Respect!

Before going live with any of your website content, consider if the content is respectful, informative, and engaging enough to deserve display space. Also make sure your text is properly formatted, spell-checked, and grammatically correct. Crop and optimize images so they reduce the impact of load times for your page.

Since your users have just a few minutes to make up their minds about your service, give them adequate information to help them come to a favorable decision. When you make unsubstantiated claims or outlandish promises that no one is able to deliver or when you use any kind of “pushy” or even abusive language, your users will feel irritated, and your site will become off-putting. If you provide ground rules and a checklist of how you work or if you state your values and your mission and provide helpful related information, your users will feel that you’re on their side. 

Being respectful of your visitors’ time means sharing, but not shouting. It means understanding their needs and proposing strategic solutions. It means giving them enough information to make an informed decision.


Respect will propel you a long way forward in business: use it or lose it.

Tuesday Tips #4: "About You" - Encourage Trust

Humans naturally want to know with whom they’re dealing. Are you a robot spammer or are you a live person? Prove it in your “About Us” page, which displays information and pictures about the company’s directors, partners, and staff. ⠀

In today’s information overload society people have so much anonymous interaction that they appreciate any effort to personalize business interactions.⠀

I encourage you to add photos of your key players to your “About Us” page. These help make your company real to your visitors. If you’re a real person, you will have a real picture, a statement, a mini-biography (three paragraphs maximum), and a contact link. Add personal information to the extent that it enhances your credentials or provides insight into your character. People naturally like to know your interests, so if your hobbies or activities are appropriate and personable, feel free to include them.⠀

Potential investors, partners, and clients will appreciate that you are a real person who puts your name and your image on display as a representative of your company. Your “About Us” page connects naturally with the “Contact” page. List out the correct person to contact for a specific function (e.g. “Grace Lee is our VP of business development”, or “for wholesale inquiries, please contact Anita Roberts”).⠀

Checklist for what to include in your “about” page: ⠀

Tuesday Tips #3: Design Necessities: Be Bold and Succinct

The look and feel of your site conveys important clues to your users about your industry, your company’s standards, and your organization’s quality. Certain designs trigger certain reactions and expectations in your visitors. Pay particular attention to color, layout, font style, and user interface. 🎨⁣⠀

As you go through the design process, consider your message & your target client. Other websites in your field may yield clues, so do a search for your competitors or partners. Sometimes stereotypes do play a role. Sites targeting women are typically pink 💗or other pastel colors and have rounded shapes and edges, while sites targeting men are deeper colors with more angular edges.⁣⠀

Add pictures of people if yours is a service-related business. ⠀

 ➡️Never go with a design that you don’t like; your site represents you and your company, so make sure your design fits your overall brand.⠀

Color is a major indicator of the overall function of a site. There is a reason why most financial sites are white and blue; similarly, food-related sites are shades of green, brown, and red, and gaming sites are in black or dark green with white script. Choose an overall palette and stick with it.⠀

 

💙💚💜⠀

Tuesday Tips #02: Think about your Business - Explain it Well

“Who are you? What are you about? Do you have what I want? Who else uses your products or services? How do I contact you?” These are the questions your customer has, so answer them! 😊⠀

=================================================================⠀

Here are some guidelines to developing your content:⠀

Use answers to these basic questions to structure the information on your website: ⠀

=================================================================⠀

* Who are you?⠀

* What do you do?⠀

* Where are you located?⠀

* When are you available to help me?⠀

* How do you help?⠀

* Why should I choose you?⠀

* How do I contact you?⠀

* What’s the next step to doing business with you?⠀

==================================================⠀

==================================================⠀

#tuesdaytips from the 🚀Female Founders Network #femalefoundersleadtheway #yearofthefemalefounder #monicasflores #51waystobuildyourcommunity

Tuesday Tips #01: Prepare Yourself: How much are you Willing to Invest?

Your website is probably the first big investment you'll make into your business.⠀

Our global information age means that your website is not optional. It is expected. Our 24/7 mentality also means that your website will be queried during and outside of your personal working hours. When you clearly label information, you do more than make it easy for a visitor to find an answer to her question, understand your pricing, or sign up for an account with your business. You also establish an automatic advantage because your website works for you, both as an integral part of your business process and as a means of extending your company’s accessibility and reach.⠀

=================================================================⠀

As you add website functionality and your site becomes more user-friendly and easier to understand, you’ll contact an increasing number of customers; and as you grow your customer base, you’ll automate even more procedures on your website.⠀

=================================================================⠀

I recommend that you constantly brainstorm ways to increase your website efficiency to provide value to your business and to your customers. Work with a trusted web advisor to enhance functioning, boost your company’s reputation, and improve your business processes.⠀

Anna Grunduls Design

Hi! I'm Anna. The illustrator and owner behind Anna Grunduls Design. What is it that I do? It all starts with adult coloring pages. I illustrate them with very intricate details and than use the artworks to create fun stationery. My paper goods are very unique in the way that everything can be colored in! Posters, stickers, cards, even adhesive tapes!

What made you decide to start the business?
I was commissioned by an Australian publisher to illustrate an adult coloring book and I had a ton of fun with it. I've always loved making intricate art. When I got the book, I felt it could be much more. I started experimenting with printing the illustrations on other mediums and in various sizes. That's how I came up with the idea to start a business of my own and let the coloring pages out of the books.

 

Women Entrepreneurs Lead the Way - Akrashie Naa Borley and Bracelet Crews

As the founder and CEO of Bracelet Crews, Akrashie Naa Borley makes a positive difference for herself and others through creating heartfelt, beautifully hand crafted pieces that support the needs, goals, and desires of women. With a focus on individual empowerment, the simple beauty of working alongside other women and supporting other women's dreams, and a desire to create heartfelt connection with the power inside each of us, she has boldly stepped forward into the jewelry market to create charming accessories for a "strong generation who believes in life and knows that together, we can achieve anything."

Akrashie

 

Empowering and advocating for women come naturally for Akrashie, and she's always up for the challenge of the hustle. "I started Bracelets Crews to make more money for me and the women I work with," she asserts, and through her daily work in growing the brand, she's finding that her entrepreneurial spirit is helping her grow in unexpected ways. She's learning as she goes along, and is continuing to educate herself and expand her knowledge, from setting up the business, identifying accounting systems, developing the brand, and connecting with others in the fashion and lifestyle markets.

 

From Contractor to Business Solutions Provider

We caught up with Maseru through the Simbi online bartering platform. As a recent contractor and now full-fledged business provider, she shares some of her background with us.

 

What made you decide to start the business? 

Shekinah Business SolutionsShekinah Business Solutions is an online company that I started this year 2018. I am a professional female freelancer from Lesotho, Africa. I am a black woman who refused to let her environment and circumstances define her. When I started freelancing, I was located in the deep mountains of the nation and had to travel over an hour to get to a place with electricity to work. I was tired of the situation I was in, tired of accepting that just because I was born in a 3rd world African nation and lived in a rural village with lack of water and electricity I would amount to nothing.

Living life each moment

travel

My favorite time of day has become the blue hour. That time before dawn when in the distance you can see blue. A friend recently posted on Facebook about it — I had no idea that it had a name, but I love it! I LOVE SILENCE. I love silence a lot more than I should probably admit. With three kids in their tween & teens, I really appreciate that I wake up early without help and ENJOY being productive before anyone else is even up. I sometimes even get outside and enjoy the colors of that blue hour as, in my opinion, they are magnificent! There’s nothing like the silence coupled with the beauty of the world.

Living in south Florida we rarely get to open our windows or air out the house. This morning is different. The gusts wind rushing underneath the shutters that we closed in preparation for the storm that thankfully blew past us, is the only sound I hear in addition to the click, click, click of my keyboard. Each time the wind makes a noise that is similar to someone up and walking around the house I am distracted to look at the time and think, NO! THIS IS MY TIME! I used to feel selfish for these thoughts. I don’t anymore.

Confessions of a #Girlboss

When I confirmed a sit-down interview date with Angela Lee last year, I didn’t realize quite how much of a headliner she was.

Looking for names of women under 40 who have successfully started their own companies, I found her in Entrepreneur Magazine, in the article “Six Innovative Women to Watch in 2015.”

image

When we set the interview date, I (wisely) decided to do some research, and found that Angela is not only the founder of 37 Angels, the investment community and training program for female investors. She’s also a publicly recognized business expert, highly sought-after on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, and Fox Business Network. If that wasn’t enough, she also serves as the Assistant Dean of Columbia University’s Business School, where she teaches courses in Leadership, Strategy, and Innovation. No big deal.

We had agreed to meet at her apartment, a post-war Columbus Circle complex, just as New York City began to melt into the swelter of summer. Taking a seat in an oval study room at the top floor of her building, my back faced both Central Park West and Lincoln Center.

This is a Man’s World

This is a man’s world, and Kit Hickey, is trying to change that mantra, one dress suit at a time.

“We invent apparel,” she tells me, as we start our casual phone conversation about her company, Ministry of Supply, which she started three years ago.

image1

Ministry of Supply is the Boston-based company that Kit and co-founders Aman Advani and Gihan Amarasiriwardena started while they were MBA students at MIT. They use the same technology that NASA uses to develop its space suits, in creating dress shirts that are designed for a better fit and greater comfort. To be specific, their shirts minimize perspiration and odor, and are also wrinkle-free.

But for the co-founder of a company that recently raised $1.1 Million in seed funding, Kit owes her confidence in board rooms to growing up being the only girl in a room full of boys. At her high school right outside Boston, she recalls feeling like the outsider on her otherwise all-male ice hockey team.

Time Management for Single Founder

It has been 11 months of being a single founder of a startup. As I have spent several months, I learned about time management on how to do things when not everything is moving in a speed that I wanted. I have to be mindful on what I am doing. Here are a few learnings that I want to share.

Meta management of time

The money and time is one of the most valuable pieces in one’s life and this is more true for startup. Especially managing time is more challenging than others because of wearing many hats as a single founder. As a result, I give a extra thought on how I am spending my time and whether it is worth it or not. I call it as ‘Meta management of time’. I use morning time to decide what to work on and my meta management mainly consists of estimate.

When I start a task, I try to give an estimate and try to stick with it as much as I can. Giving estimate is a learning process though. As long as I am mindful and give a thought, I expect that it is going to get better. On picking up a task, I think of impact of result, this is also a try and error process because priority that I envisioned originally does not always turn out as I expected. I suspect the more I am aware and the better I will estimate.

Increasing female leadership is a priority for United Kingdom government

image1

Did you know that increasing female leadership in British business was a priority on the government level? That wasn’t merely words.

The former Prime Minister’s David Cameron administration called for an end to all-male boards of directors anywhere on the FTSE350 and set the goal of reaching 33% female representation on corporate boards by 2020.

Lord Davies, Parliamentary at the House of Lords, worked on the guidelines for ‘Improving the Gender Balance on British Boards’ program to voluntarily involve FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) corporations in increasing number of women on top positions.

Remarkably, the program, launched in 2011, showed tremendous results by the end of 2015:

Female Founders & Why They Matter

very month my clients at Big Door invite trending startups to show off their products to potential users, marketers, entrepreneurs, creators, and like minded individuals in an effort to gain user feedback (through Product Hunt). November’s meetup is even more significant since partnering with BRAID to feature female founded companies.

In witnessing the recent national divide, we are now being called “to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek” (from Hillary Clinton’s Concession Speech for the 2016 Presidential Election). Part of that responsibility includes shining a light, with bullhorn in hand, on the neglected or suppressed.

Where Technology Has Failed India’s Poorest Women, We’re Building Trust

image1

For the past few months, our team has been visiting customers face-to-face, including a 33-year-old woman living in the slums of Chennai, India.

We’ve visited her every day in temperatures easily soaring above 100 degrees. (The locals call this peak summer season ‘agni natchathiram,’ the season of fire.) We’ve visited her in the pouring rain, when the alleys in front of her home have begun to flood. And we’ve visited her despite her mild scoldings — she’s as worried about ourhealth, when we’re outdoors in this extreme weather, as we are about hers. It’s all worth it, though, because we’ve finally gained her trust.

Building trust, not technology, is the most challenging aspect of our work at Tulalens, the social enterprise I founded. The women we work with have been failed by markets and the government. They live off of less than $2.50 per person per day in their household. They have rarely if ever been asked for feedback on a product or service in their life. Without the foundation of trust, we found that equipping millions of women with the crucial health information they needed through technology would be impossible.

Why we should invest more in nonpregnant, underserved women

Today is the first of a four-part series on why we believe that investments in women’s health should be more inclusive.

Nagavalli, our customer, works as a domestic helper at 9 homes every day. During her only window of free time, she cleans the house, spends time with her children and cooks them dinner. Her conviction that her two sons and daughter, aged 14, 10 and 8, can lead better lives than her overrides the hopelessness that she could easily succumb to.

“I want my kids to study well and not end up in a job like me. That’s all I want and nothing else.”

image

Pictured above is Nagavalli, our customer, in her home in Dhideer Nagar, one of Chennai’s slum areas.

Her husband is a painter, who sometimes has work. He spends most of his income on alcohol, and gives Nagavalli the leftovers. This money can barely buy her a cup of coffee, she says. She wants to be independent of him, so she works to pay for their food, school tuition for her children and all other household expenses.

Using IFTTT to expand Twitter reach 6000% in 3 months

I’m a big fan of automation and have written about my attempts to build a Dexter-enabled chatbot that sends inspirational quotes (Chatbots Magazine, My Bot Beginnings).

Lately I’ve been exploring the tool ifttt.com and all the “applets” that are offered, in an effort to coordinate and organize and “push” the information I’m most interested in, to my Twitter feed at @FemaleFounders1

Female Founders 🚀 (@femalefounders1) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Female Founders 🚀 (@femalefounders1). news/stories to support #femalefounders…twitter.com

According to Twitter Analytics, in May 2017, I started out with about 1.6k in impressions and looking at historical data, I had about 160 followers. By end of July 2017, that is at 115k in impressions and 450 followers.

1

Supporting The Empowerment Plan

The Empowerment Plan: empowermentplan.org

I am so inspired by the work of Veronika Scott and the team at the Detroit-based The Empowerment Plan. Join other female founders in making a donation to the non-profit here: https://www.crowdrise.com/female-founders/fundraiser/monicadear

In her own words, Scott “was inspired to start The Empowerment Plan when a class at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit challenged her to create a product to fill an actual need in her community.”

Since that initial research into the issue of generational poverty and homelessness, The Empowerment Plan, and the EMPWR coat was created.

The Empowerment Plan has produced and distributed over 15,000 coats in 40 US States and 7 Canadian provinces since 2011, and has employed 39 people in Detroit.

I invite you to join me in supporting The Empowerment Plan in their effort to use this model in other communities.

Recognizing female founders in fintech / insurtech

image

According to an American Express 2016 report, there are over 11.3 million women owned businesses in the U.S. that employ nearly 9 million people and generate over $1.6 trillion in revenues. However, women leaders starting their own business face significant barriers to growth — among the nearly 500 deals closed in the Fintech sector in the US in 2016, less than a dozen went to companies founded by women.

Let’s close this gap! Quesnay invites US-based women-led startups to apply to the Female Founders in Tech Competition- an opportunity that will help grow your company through funding, mentorship, visibility and access to decision-makers at corporations, investors, incubators and leading university experts. Female Founders is proudly sponsored by AARP, American Family Insurance, John Hancock, MassMutual, Microsoft, RGAx, TD Bank, Sterling National Bank, Thomson Reuters, Verizon, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich, & Rosati. The competition is also being supported by key fintech and insurtech thought leaders such as Andrea Silvello, Angela Lee, Ron Suber, Scarlett Sieber, and Theodora Lau. Apply at www.quesnays.com/competitions.

Sponsoring Female Founders

image
#femalefoundersleadtheway

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Reach out using our inquiry form.

Female Founders Lead the Way provides stories, personal connections, news and resources to support women in building their enterprises.

Entrepreneurship solves problems, creates a better world, and makes a positive difference.

Engage with our community of female founders, co-founders, and entrepreneurs. We offer our blog and private discussion group, as well as social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Messenger, SMS bot, Instagram, and Spotify.

Interested in becoming an advertiser? Reach out using our inquiry form.

Social Media Sponsors
$1200 for 12 Twitter mentions
$1200 for 12 Facebook mentions
$1200 for 12 Instagram posts

Increasing Profitability Without Sacrificing Mission

increase

 

Profitability is one of those big terms that seems scary to a lot of mission-driven entrepreneurs. It can get complicated when you’re talking about profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow. Then add your mission into the mix and it gets super overwhelming. Having a triple-bottom-line is definitely more than a single bottom line. That’s why I’m sharing these thoughts today. Profitability doesn’t have to be scary, complicated, or overwhelming.

Why Profitability is Important

Before we jump into breaking down profitability to its most basic simple equation, I want to say a few words about why profitability is important.

4 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Wonder Woman

DC and Warner Brothers’ new Wonder Woman film has broken records and inspired movie goers across the world. The movie stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. The script was written by long-time comic writer Allan Heinberg, who has previously worked on Wonder Woman comics, and directed by Patty Jenkins.

From the get-go, Wonder Woman was already diversifying itself from the barrage of superhero movies being churned out in recent years — it was a live-action superhero film with a female lead AND a female director.

While most viewers might see the movie as pure popcorn entertainment (and there’s nothing wrong with that), entrepreneurs and business leaders can get a lot more out of it if they pay attention. You might be surprised at the insight and lessons hidden away in some of the scenes and themes of the film.

Here are just a few of the things you can learn from this amazing Amazonian warrior and apply to your own journey as an entrepreneur.

(Just a warning: there are some spoilers for Wonder Woman below. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to bookmark this article and come back after you’ve watched this amazing film.)

image