As the love month comes to an end, here are some special ways to show your customers you care as a businesswoman on the rise:
1. Include a goody bag in their order:
Who doesn’t love receiving extra gifts? You don’t have to go all out and empty your bank account. A thoughtful gift that will put a smile on your customers face is not too much to do. They’ll feel valued by you and they’ll be more likely to become a return customer.
It’s a topic most Nigerian women know too well, the art of patronising a friend’s business, just to show support. Whether it’s a bakery, a catering outfit, a tailor’s shop, a wig store… the list of small businesses young Nigerians start these days is endless, and we each have at least one friend who spearheads such.
Now there are businesses, and there are businesses. Some offer products/services of excellent quality, while others do the exact opposite. If your friend’s business sadly falls into the latter category, it can be an awkward place to find yourself in. After all, you genuinely want this person to succeed but also don’t want to say or do the wrong thing that could ruin the friendship.
What’s a Naija woman to do? Read on for some tips on handling the situation if you’re in one right now:
Resist pressure to patronise: For the love of you, especially in these dire economic times, “suffering” with a product or service, just to appear supportive, isn’t fair to you. Business is business, and if there are other service providers offering the same product or service at a more affordable rate without compromising on quality, then by all means, go for theirs.
We know how hard it can be to get up early in the morning and be faced with having to choose between prepping for an appointment and getting the kids set for school. The key is to focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance between work and parenthood. Here are some tips to get you started:
Get help: As you won’t be around with your kids 24/7, It is ok to get help. Ask your network of friends and family for reference to nannies, babysitters or daycare centres. When employing a nanny, it is advised to employ one who is educated and has a history of long commitment to families. This means they are able to care for children of all ages and assist with homework. A good daycare facility should have flexible hours, outdoor space, friendly and kind employees who have had their backgrounds checked.
Create a morning routine:: This is a really good way to avoid frazzles. You can start out by laying out the kids’ clothes plus yours, polishing the shoes, deciding what to make for breakfast, etc. Basically, doing this helps you keep your sanity.
Stay in touch with your kids: The importance of communicating with your kids from the workplace can never be overemphasized. No matter how busy you may be, always ensure you take out time out of your busy schedule to know how your kids are faring. Hearing or seeing your child (through video webcams) could help you get through a rough day and will mean a lot to your child. He/she is comforted knowing you are near.
“Keep a notebook if only for the sake of getting out of your own head”- Author unknown.
This is one of our favourite quotes on note-taking. Whether it’s a sudden flicker of an idea, an important piece of information received on-the-go or a short-term goal, a habit to imbibe as a lady boss is the act of taking notes. For reasons why, keep reading.
Ideas don’t stay long: Awesome and mind-blowing ideas can pop up at the strangest of times and you have to capture them quickly before they fade into thin air. Capture your ideas for future reference weeks, months or even years down the line.
It helps to remind yourself of what to focus on: As busy women, we are bound to get caught up in our everyday business and lose track of the most crucial things. So, to avoid spending our energy on low priority tasks, it is advisable to write down a reminder that can stop our thoughts when we see it and guide us back on track again.
In the spirit of the New Year, amidst all the goal setting and resolutions, it is important to set professional goals. One way to discover life’s shortcuts is by reading other people’s stories and learning from their experiences without having to go through the same thing. With that said, the following five books are essential for women in business and career. Most are quick reads, all are unique and fun, with incredible lessons to share.
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Risk taking is an important aspect of being an entrepreneur. Shonda Rhimes is a writer and producer, known for Grey’s Anatomy (2005), Scandal (2012) and Crossroads (2002). In this book, she talks about her career successes and struggles as well as her family and personal life. She talks about the paradox of dreaming vs. doing and she shows you, by her own example, how to work really hard to build yourself.
If anyone had told me that I would survive this year, I’d have probably laughed at them. The truth is, It has been a very tough 2017 for me, but through it all, I’ve realised my inner strength.
My single new year’s resolution is to create a #staywinning plan and stick with it. I thought it best to share my plans with you and other ladies of this community so we’re winning together. I truly hope they help. Read, reflect and share:
List out your short-term goals: What do you have planned for tomorrow? Write it down. I know doing this constantly may sound a bit absurd but you have to learn to do these small simple tasks with joy. What about next week? What’s your goal for next week? Write it out and stick to each one till your done.
Then, list out your long-term goals: What do you want to do in five years time? What about in ten years time? Once you’ve written your long-term goals, you will subconsciously align your short-term goals with your long-term goals. After all, little drops of water make a mighty ocean.
Some musings for the new year! Read, reflect and share your thoughts…
Have you ever heard of the Four Burner Theory?
No? I thought so.
Imagine that your life is represented by a stove with four burners. Each burner symbolizes one major quadrant of your life.
- The first burner represents your family.
- The second burner is your friends.
- The third burner is your health.
- The fourth burner is your work/business.
The Four Burners Theory states that “in order to be successful, you must turn down one of your burners. In order to be really successful, you must turn down two.” In other words, if you want to excel in two areas of your life, for example, in work and marriage, then your friends and health may have to suffer. If you want to be healthy and succeed as a parent, then you might be forced to dial back your career ambitions. There’s also the option of dividing your time equally among all four burners, but you have to accept that you will never reach your full potential in any given area.
So what do we do?
They came, they slayed, they conquered!
One Woman, in partnership with networking platform, Her Network, recently hosted a special group of female entrepreneurs at the maiden edition of its Lunch With One Woman event. Notable guest speakers included Uche Pedro, Founder of Bella Naija, Bukky Asehinde, Founder/CEO, Bellafricana and Toyin Onigbanjo, Founder, August Secrets. The three ladies were celebrated as nominees of the Woman of the Year in Entrepreneurship category, sponsored by Sterling Bank.
One Woman is a proposition by Sterling Bank Plc for women designed to cater to the unique needs of women. The platform seeks to support women from all walks of life and diverse economic backgrounds through finance schemes, empowerment, business workshops/academy, lifestyle nuggets, personal support, healthcare etc.
This is the first of many quarterly Lunch With One Woman events. View photo highlights below!
Kechi Okwuchi is a phenomenal woman.
You may remember her story; as a 16-year-old student on her way home, she was involved in the unfortunate 2005 Sosoliso Plane Crash that killed 108 passengers. She survived with third-degree burns that covered 65% of her body.
Over a decade later, she has successfully achieved significant milestones in her lifetime – an MBA degree, finishing sixth on the popular TV show, America’s Got Talent, and most notably, a speaking opportunity at TEDX Euston.
Call us prophets all you want, but 2018’s going to be a year of opportunities, one each lady boss must take advantage of.
Really, carrying last is not, must not and should not be an option.
Dreaming big is a must, setting SMART goals, a must, and of course, the N Word (networking) cannot be taken likely either. Make up your mind to do as much as you possibly can, scheduling events like Lunch With One Woman into your calendar.
Let’s give you a refresher on networking benefits, shall we?
1. Meet potential bosses, customers and clients
Networking is a great way to connect with people you can do business with, or work with if you’re career-oriented. There is less of a defence wall to deal with as everyone’s guard is down. Remember each attendee is ultimately there to meet someone helpful. So let that take the pressure off.
2. Boost your knowledge
If your learning style involves interaction and listening, you’re bound to gain nuggets of know-how from networking. From speaker sessions at events to one-on-one discussions with attendees, there is always something new to take home for business growth. Remember to be a giver too. Offer advice and personal experiences when you can.