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Managing: Why Join a Membership Organization?
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Tips for Finding the Right Community

iStock_000005068328XSmall_CroppedOne of the best parts about becoming a business owner is the “freedom”. We take the leap of faith with dreams of flexible work schedules, executive decisions, self-dictated income and freedom from the shackles of reporting for duty at someone else’s beck and call. The only thing we think we’ll miss is the steady paycheck and the group health insurance. But what many will find after a period of time is that the days are typically longer, pay is lower, less steady and freedom has its price. This is normal when you’re a start-up.

What many of us don’t anticipate is how little we appreciated the interaction with peers – the sense of community that comes with being a member of something bigger with other people. Sole-ownership can lead to the sense of living on an island and as humans and specifically women, we are inherently social beings. Business ownership can be counter-intuitive to what makes us feel connected.

So where should you begin to find your tribe? As business owners, we’re chiefs of our own tribes, to find a group to belong to is the exact opposite of business ownership. But as members of a community, it’s critical that we play both leader in our own domains as well as team player in the big community sandbox. As a woman does it make more sense to join a local chamber of commerce or a women’s business organization? What about the multiple women’s networking or peer groups? The options for women are endless and every day there’s a new group of women, matrons, mavens, ladies, broads, you name it – they’re out there.

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Marketing: Retail Marketing to the Impulse
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Are You Marketing to the Cost Conscious Consumers?

bags_on_groundOne of my favorite retailing gurus Pam Danziger said in one of her books, it’s all about “shops that pop.”  Right now, you have an opportunity to appeal to the consumer.

This weekend, I saw mass market chains with large areas of empty floor space, uninspired accessory selections and store windows that really are the blah in blase’.

For the small business retailer, this is a gift. Act now to market to impulse purchases, foot traffic and the flair your shop windows. If the major market retailers lack inspiration right now, you have an edge.

Create a shop that pops. You can visit Pam’s site to get her free newsletter about marketing to the affluent customer. Every consumer is reacting to this recession. Now, it’s your turn to counteract the blues and attract some green to your store.

Some added retail resources:

Quiz: Do Your Customers Return?
How to: 12 Ways to Improve Retail Sales
Sales Team: 5 Ways to Motivate Your Sales Staff

Take some time this month to plan your store windows, displays and impulse purchase plan. You can meet with a mentor to look at mobilizing your sales team to make the most of retail foot traffic.

Christine Banning, SCORE
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SCORE
For 50 years, SCORE has helped aspiring and current small business owners achieve their dreams. Through a network of over 11,000 volunteer business mentors in 340+ chapters across the country, SCORE connects decades of business experience and knowledge with those who can best use it.
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