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Welcome to the WISE newsletter, a program of
The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Article: The Limited Liability Company: The Importance of Choosing The Correct Business Vehicles

When considering the form that a business should take, many people are confused by the choices. Should the business be a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a limited liability company, or what? In this article, Sarah Spear talks about the Limited Liability Company and its advantages (as well as its limitations. In the introduction, she writes:

One of the most recent entities to emerge, the Limited Liability Company (“LLC”), has been the increasing choice of many business owners and an advantageous tool for estate planners. For most businesses, the LLC provides a hybrid of the pass-through tax benefits of a partnership and the limited liability of a corporation. Many entrepreneurs are not aware of the flexibility provided by an LLC and those who incorporate online default to a corporation because the entity is more familiar. Websites do not apprise the owners of the strict guidelines and laws that govern corporations. In some instances, failure to comply results in the liability shield stripped from a corporation, making the owners personally liable.

This paper will begin by distinguishing the LLC from other common forms of business entity, discussing the various LLC management structures, highlighting businesses thriving as LLCs, and pointing out some of the tax advantages realized by the LLC. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the LLC as an advantageous estate planning tool.

This is a detailed, yet easy to understand article. Anyone considering forming a business -- or changing how an existing business is organized -- would benefit from reading this.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Event: Upcoming WNET meetings

The Women's Network for Entrepreneurial Training (WNET) has two remaining programs for this spring.

May 4: Building a Brand for Your Small Business with Shane Stepien owner of Step One Creative

June 1: Cyber Safety with Ed Schaperjahn owner of HELP! Small Business Solutions

Each program runs from 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

WNET programs are held at the SUNY Oswego Institute for Professional & Organizational Development in the Oswego County Industrial Park, Phoenix (exit 14 on Rt. 481). Breakfast is served. (This location is approx. 5 minutes north of the Great Northern Mall, so it is close to Syracuse.)

Cost is $10 for WNET members; $12 for non-members (which includes breakfast).

To register, call (315) 343-1545 or e-mail swhite@oswegocounty.org

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Friday, April 21, 2006

National Small Business Association

One of the groups to exhibit at the WISE conference was the National Small Business Association. According to its web site:
NSBA is a volunteer-led association. Our primary mission is to advocate state and federal policies that are beneficial to small business, the state, and the nation -- and promote the growth of free enterprise.
The NSBA originally consisted of just 160 small businesses. Now the NSBA reaches more than 150,000 small businesses.

Besides advocating on behalf of small businesses, the NSBA also provides some benefits (e.g., insurance) to its members and provides some useful resources on its web site.

This is a group that is definitely worth knowing about. Likely many of the WISE attendees had not heard of the group before the conference, so it was good that the NSBA exhibited at the event.

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Article: 10 Stupid Mistakes Made by the Newly Self-Employed

Having been self-employed for 14 years, Steve Pavlina says he had made a number of stupid mistakes and seen others do the same. In this blog posting, Pavlina details 10 stupid mistakes that those who are newly self-employed tend to make. His top five are:
  1. Selling to the wrong people.
  2. Spending too much money.
  3. Spending too little money.
  4. Putting on a fake front.
  5. Assuming a signed contract will be honored.
To read the details on these -- as well as the other five -- go here. If you're in business for yourself, hopefully you haven't made all of these mistakes. If you're thinking about going into business, perhaps reading this list will inhibit you from making some of these mistakes.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A question or answer culture

Does your business ask and ponder questions or does it seek quick answers? Jeffrey Phillips writes:
Most businesses I am aware of don‚’t have a Question Culture -- they have an Answer Culture. That's because we are taught very early on that we should have the answer to the problems right at hand. Getting to an answer quickly is often rewarded in business, and having a plausible answer makes it appear we are "in the know". The problem with the Answer Culture is that ideas get the "one and done" treatment. An idea gets proposed and someone already has the answer -- We've done that before or It won't work here or some other answer. Rather than ask questions and expand the discussion, we seek to quickly provide an answer and move on.
He goes on to state that the Answer Culture gets things done quickly, but misses opportunities to explore new ideas and perhaps to be innovative. Entrepreneurs, especially, need to have a Question Culture that allow them to seek ideas that will allow them to succeed.

So ask yourself this...Is your company culture one that seeks the quick answers or enjoying exploring the questions?

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

After WISE

Although WISE is a once-a-year event, there are resources that WISE has put together for women entrepreneurs that are available all year long.

First, there is the WISE web site. Here you will find links to the WISE directory of women entrepreneurs. If you are a women entrepreneur, please make sure that you are listed in this directory. Then use this directory to find women whom you'd like to do business with or perhaps partner with. Or use the directory to find a woman who could mentor you.

The WISE web site also contains local and national resources that are applicable for women entrepreneurs. The resource list includes venture capital firms that are looking for women-owned businesses to invest in.

Second, you have access to the WISE blog (which you are reading now). New articles (or posts) appears two times per week on topics of interest to women entrepreneurs, including information on pertinent upcoming events in the Central NY region. The blog's web page also contains resources that would be useful to women entrepreneurs (look in the sidebar).

Third, along with the South Side Entrepreneurial Connect Project, WISE will be offering microcredit loans to women entrepreneurs in the region. The WISE blog and the WISE web site will have more information on this program as it becomes available.

Fourth, WISE again in the fall will host WISE High-Altitude Marketing (WHAM). The event last November was sold out. Check the WHAM web page in the early fall for information on this year's event. (Information will also be posted here in the blog.)

So, even though the WISE symposium/conference is only once a year, there are resources from WISE that you can tap into all year long! Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

WISE2006: Wow!

WISE is an event that is bigger than the sum of its parts. It is women learning from each other and women making connections to each other. The networking begins before 8 a.m. and lasts all day! Business cards are exchanged and the seeds of collaboration planted.

The best speaker this year was Anson Dorrance, by far. His words rang true with many people and inspired the group to improve how they communicate. He got us to laugh and shake our heads in agreement. Everyone was talking about him afterwards. Wow!

It is important to note that Dorrance didn’t claim to have all of the answers, or to always do things the right way, but did gives us ideas of how to improve our communication and relationships with others.

The quality of speakers was again high (truly). There were lots of tips, techniques and lessons discussed. Some of the breakout sessions were standing room only (like the one on guerilla marketing). And there were a few speakers who were asked back from last year (like Patricia Henriques).

There were many new faces! Yes, there were women who had been to previous WISE events, but there were also many women who had never been to a WISE event.

By the way, this conference sold out last week (April 6) before the registration period had closed. This is a popular event, so if it interests you, consider registering early to ensure that you can get in.

The end of the day is a reception and a time to relax as well as one final time to visit the exhibitors/event-sponsors. It will also be our last chance to network here. Hopefully people will follow-up with those that they have met here after we have left the OnCenter.

Addendum (4/12/2006): In speaking with a few people after the event, we recognize that the late afternoon slot is a tough slot for speakers. That speaker needs to be very dynamic, very engaging and extremely high energy. Much easier said than done.

Given some of the questions I heard during the event, perhaps late afternoon should be dedicated to connecting people with resources such as SCORE, the Small Business Development Center, etc. Either have them available in break-out rooms to discuss how they can help new and growing businesses or have a panel of that group. After a day of being inspired, that group could say "okay...now this is what you need to do next..."

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WISE2006: How Women are Different and Why it Matters

Anson Dorrance is the NCAA National Champion Women’s and Men’s Soccer Coach from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dorrance has coached the women's team at North Carolina to 18 national soccer championships. His book, The Vision of a Champion: Advice and Inspiration from the World's Most Successful Women's Soccer Coach, is highly regarded.

He began by saying that nothing in his background prepared him for coaching women. He went to a boys’ school (high school) and found his college to be mostly male. He joked about his early experience – or lack of experience – with women. His first coaching job was coaching the men’s team at NC Chapel Hill. He was later asked to coach the women’s team. Research of that time (late 1970s) said that there was no difference between women and men, so he decided to treat both teams the same. This turned out to be a mistake!

In motivating his men’s team, he used a quote from a movie (The Great Santini, I think). It worked very well with the men. He told the men to have the gift of fury and to eat life before life eats them. He then used that same quote (speech) with the women’s team, but it didn’t work!

He has stopped using videotape with the women. Men need videotape because they don’t believe that they have made a mistake. The video allows them to see their mistakes. Men are not willing to accept responsibility. Women, however, are different. Every women takes general criticism personally. With women, they use positive highlight reels to build confidence, not in showing problems.

Men – in college – major in being eligible to play sports and don’t think about their post-college careers. Women, though, were high achievers, but wondered if it would be enough to help them succeed. Would anyone hire them? The men expect to find the best jobs.

With men and women, criticism and praise must be doled out differently. Men and women speak a different language and are motivated differently.

Dorrance is naturally critical of his teams, but has learned to use that criticism differently with men and women.

He believes in personal praise. Women want to hear what they have done well both on and off the field. Women often more readily appreciate praise given in private.

The Competitive Cauldron (sp?) allows athletes to understand how they are competing with themselves and with others. They measure everything, so that the athletes know exactly how they are doing. Very high fitness standards. The lesson? It is okay to be the best. It is okay to win. It is okay to push yourself – to do more than you think you can do. But it is up to us to choose to complete.

He instills 11 core values in his teams. They include (no PowerPoint, so this is my wording):

  1. We don’t whine – “The true joy in life is to be a force for future…” (George Bernard Shaw)

  2. We work hard – invisible determination.

  3. The truly extraordinary do something everyday.

  4. We choose to be positive.

  5. We support the team and its mission.

  6. We don’t freak out over ridiculous issues or create crisis when none exists.

  7. We are well led.

  8. We care about each other as teammates and human beings.

  9. We want our lives to be never ending ascensions.

  10. College is about books and the best available tools. It is a time to master skills that will serve you well for the remainder of your lives.

What you do on your own – without someone supervising you or criticizing you – will help to define your greatness.

Dorrance said that his female players play best when they play for each other. When recruiting women want to know how the team gets along, they don’t care (as much as men) if they are going to start or if they are going to receive a scholarship. The lesson? The importance of morale. Women want to connect to everyone.

We need to compete with remorse.

He said that the women taught him how they wanted him to relate to them. He taught them that it is okay to complete.

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WISE2006: How to Sell Better Than Your Competition and Feel Comfortable Doing It

Jennifer Peterson is the founder of Visible Solutions, a janitorial services company. She worked in academia prior and decided that she needed a change. The company was begun in the late 1990s and is still going strong.

Peterson’s keys points:

  • Target your customers & their needs – find out their specific needs. Peterson gave an example of getting an account because she asked what the client needed and did not assume. Ask what they want; don’t tell them what they need.

  • Be picky – Be selective about who you want as customers. Is it a good fit for you?

  • Find out why your customers buy. It is to solve a specific need? What will your customers gain from your product or service?

  • If you fear selling, think about what can be done to change or eliminate your fear. Take action to address your fears.

  • Find enthusiasm for your business. If you are enthusiastic, your customers will be enthusiastic. Consider creating a list of customer benefits.

  • Start small – practice your sales pitch in front of friends and family.

  • Keep track of your successes. Keep memories, notes, or mementos that will remind you of your successes.

  • Throw a party to bring people/customers together and use it as a way for them to learn more about your and your business. Don’t want to throw a party? Create some other type of networking event.

  • Stay focused – remember why you started the business.

  • Find and work your niche.

  • Selling is one of the top three things you need to do. You must sell to bring in new business and keep your business from getting stale. It will get your through any lulls. You need to consistently do sales either on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Remember to keep in touch, too, with your old/existing clients.

Stages of action:

  • Get people interested in your product and services.

  • Find a way of standing out from the crowd.

  • Desire - Make people want your stuff.

  • Conviction – Get recommendations

  • Action – Ask for the order – Don’t just tell them what you can do. You must ask for the order. Ask them to do business with you.

  • Figure out what type of customer you are dealing with (e.g., decisive, inquisitive, rational, expressive) and then sell to that customer appropriately. Interact with you clients in the ways they want. Use the language and style that they want.

Opening strategies:

  • Be brief

  • Be prepared

  • Ask questions

  • Be probing

  • Show how you can solve their problems

Closing the sale strategies:

  • Assume that everything is on track. Assume that they have made a decision and that the contract is yours.

  • Give the customer a choice of services with the assumption that that will take either one (and use your services).

  • Summary close – you want to get a “no” at the end. “You want blah blah blah, is there anything else I can do for you?”

  • Offer a deal – order today and I can offer X.

Other thoughts:

  • Answer questions with specific details. Talk about benefits.

  • Set a deadline for the sale. Don’t let the customer drag out the sale. Remember that time is money.

  • Look for ways to service your customer better.

  • Be accessible and visible. Don’t disappear.

  • Built rapport.

  • Remember that one size (one technique) doesn’t fit all (or work in every situation).

  • Peterson mentioned the books by Jeffrey Gitomer and recommended them as a way of learning about sales.

  • Remember to network and to take opportunities to learn from others.

  • A part-time business will yield part-time results.

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WISE2006: Finding the Guerrilla Within: Creative Marketing for Start-ups

This session featured Dr. Minet Schindehutte who is a professor at Syracuse University and founder of Proxi Business Centres and Julie Briggs, the founder of Syracuse Gift Basket Company, Inc.
Schindehutte talked about changing the 4-P’s (product, price, promotion, and place) into the 4-C’s.  The four C’s are customer-focused:
  • Customer solutions or experience

  • Customer value and cost

  • Customer communications

  • Customer convenience
Lots of key thoughts and ideas:
  • Moving from being preachy to communicating “with” your customers.

  • The focus is not on you, but on the customer.

  • Buzz is word of mouth on steroids.  An example of buzz is the movie “The Blair Witch Project” which created something out of nothing ($30,000 budget).

  • Buzz pulls people into the conversation.

  • Engage in conversation so that people want to be marketed to.

  • Your promotional efforts must lead to sales.
The guerilla concept:
  • Non-conventional media

  • Creative ways of influencing word of mouth (WOM)

  • Doing more with less

  • Use other people’s resources

  • Networking & partnering
Be the purple cow (an idea created by Seth Godin).  A purple cow is “a product or service that is remarkable is worth talking about, exceptional, interesting…”

Our advantages as a small business are:

  • Speed

  • Flexibility

  • Focus

  • Closeness to the customer

  • Motivation

  • Guerrilla weaponry

Julie Briggs remarked:

  • Don’t let an advertising sales representative sell you the moon and the stars.

  • Do strive for a combination of targeted, less expensive marketing methods.

  • Do polish your writing skills and get yourself published.

  • Do keep a database of your customers and stay in touch with them.

  • Do creative giveaways.

  • Remember that the devil is in the details.  For example, help clients to find you and to do business with you again.

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WISE2006: Entrepreneuring in All Facets of Life

Our speaker, Sheila Johnson is co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and president of the Washington Mystics. She has built a resort and has extensive real estate holdings. She also owns 18 show horses. She is a generous philanthropist, giving millions to worthy causes including SUNY Morrisville.

Johnson said that there is an extraordinary legacy of women entrepreneurs in the U.S. She draws inspiration from that legacy.

The salamander is the only animal reportedly to be able to survive the hottest of farms. Her own property is Salamander Farms. (The previous owner named the farm after his nickname, given to him for his ability to survive.) She has used the name salamander for some of her other businesses. She seems to draw strength from the salamander’s ability to survive. One can tell listening to her that she has been a survivor.

Her foray into land development wasn’t easy. Her neighbors in the horse country of Virginia were not all in love with her dream. They wanted her to fail, but she knew she had to be relentless in succeeding (as relentless as those who wanted her to fail).

A few key thoughts:

  • She encouraged the group to set goals and create a clear plan of action.

  • Don’t shut your learning machine down. Continue to learn. You don’t know where the next great idea will come from.

  • Don’t assume that it will be an easy road. You will have critics. Follow your passion.

  • Vision without action is only a dream. Vision with action can change the world.

  • We must support women in politics. They will influence the business world through their actions and legislations.

  • Support the hopes that young girls have for their futures.

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WISE2006: Follow Your Heart: Matching Passion with Discipline and Focus

This session included Jacqueline Savage-McFee (Owner, JSM Design Studio) and Amy Tormey (Co-Founder, Ray’s New York Bagels). The discussion was facilitated by Julie Abbott from WSYR, Channel 9.

Abbott started with a quote from Dr. Phil, “Winners are those that are willing to do what losers are not.”

Savage-McFee wanted to “live big” and was willing to take a risk and start her own business. She could have worked for Hallmark, but went to work for a smaller firm, then decided to create a business does greeting cards, etc.

Tormey had the entrepreneurial spirit. Once she saw her employee being sold to a larger company for a lot of money, she decided that she wanted to risk building her own company. Amy Tormey began her business when the bagel industry was going through a slump. She, however, has created a business that is growing year-over-year.

Passion – remember that your life is speaking to you every day; you just need to pay attention. Your passion will lead you to triumph.

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WISE2006: Ann Michel WISE Distinguished Entrepreneur Awards

Jennifer and Bill Michel gave this year’s awards to:

  • Suzanne Kondra-DeFuria is the president of Potter Heating & Air Conditioning and Perrone Plumbing. Kondra-DeFuria has grown her business over the last 20 years. She has 25 employees and has seen her business double over the last five years. Suzanne Kondra-DeFuria was given the Ann Michel WISE Distinguished Entrepreneur Award for Small Business.

  • April J. Stone is CEO of CNY Infusion Services LLC, which has more than 30 employees. Stone was given the Ann Michel WISE Distinguished Entrepreneur Award for Small Business.

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WISE2006: Resources

Every person attending WISE received:

  • A CD entitled “Greater degrees of business success” from KeyBank.

  • A book that included information on the speakers as well as speaker handouts.

  • An umbrella (because we know how the Syracuse weather can change!)

BTW the overall MC for the day was Linda Lowen, who is host of Women’s Voices at WCNY.

Prior to the day starting, there was a continental breakfast and we were serenaded by a solo violinist from Syracuse University.

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WISE2006: How Single Mom Bread Winner...Became Bun Lady

Cordia Harrington, Founder, Tennessee Bun Company spoke about her career and entrepreneurship.

Harrington has started several companies. She is a former a real estate agent (and started a real estate company in the early 1980s in Arkansas). Frustrated about construction companies not finishing houses on-time, she started her own construction company. In the late 1980s, she met someone who owned a McDonald’s and was impressed to meet people who owned a McDonald’s!

When her life began to change, she decided to use her energy to take her to the next level. She then invested in a McDonald’s franchise as a way of having a more stable life. Owner/operators spend 2,200 hours training before owning a restaurant. They learn every job in the restaurant. It wasn’t easy, but she persevered. In 1990, she was picked to be the owner of a McDonald’s in Illinois. Owning was not easy at first and so to help increase business, she bought a Greyhound bus franchise, put it on the corner, which brought in business (bus riders). (BTW she eventually had three McDonalds.)

Once she landed on the McDonald’s bun committee, she found her calling! When McDonald’s wanted to open another bakery, she lobbied to be the person to run it. She started the bakery in 1996. The bakery now makes 1,000 buns per minute. Her company is the fastest automated bakery in the world. Her clients include KFC, Chili’s, and McDonald’s. Her bun company also makes Pepperidge Farm cookies. She also purchased a trucking company, to haul the buns (BLT – Bun Lady Transport).

One interesting point is that she did not have a contract with McDonald’s for the buns. It was a handshake contract. When the industry went through a lull, she sought a permission to not be an exclusive supplier to McDonald’s, but to service other companies.

Next year, she will build her third bakery. Obviously, her business is increasing, including her trucking business.

Talking about a recent trip, she quoted her cab driver who said (my paraphrase), “Without the disappointments in our lives, we can’t appreciate the good times. Instead of spending energy being disappointed, use that energy to take yourself to the next level.” There is not an easy path for an entrepreneur. You will have huge problems. Persist. Have passion.

During the Q&A period, she mentioned that she has helped past and current employees succeed. That is a great message – we truly need to help each other in order to be successful.

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WISE2006: What We Know about Women Entrepreneurs: Patterns, Problems, and Possibilities

Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Gatewood (Director, Wake Forest University Office of Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts) spoke on the patterns, problems, and possibilities that women entrepreneurs face. Her presentation included video clips.

Women business owners:
  • one in 18 women is a business owner

  • Nearly 11 million businesses or 48% of all firms, when you include firms that are majority women owned

  • Women owned businesses (WOB) grew by 17% during 1997 – 2004.
Men are more likely to think about starting a business. Businesses that are owned by men tend to be bigger than WOB.

Women have difficulty starting businesses because of:
  • Lack of education

  • Lack of capital

  • Not being taken seriously

  • …and more…
Gatewood then outlined research results that looked at WOB vs. men owned business.

Human Capital Differences? - Women do have less employment and industry experience. Do these qualities impact the success of WOB? Some. The most important seems to be that women need more industry experience (in the industry they are choosing) before they create their startups. That industry experience helps women learn the business and the industry. They are able to make key contacts, which can be vitally important. It can also teach women how to run a business.

Social Capital Differences? - When think they have a good network, but tend to have more family in their networks. A High proportion of kin in a social network can decrease the odds of starting a business. Social networks are important to financial resources for growth.

Financial Capital Differences? – Women tend to use less capital to start their businesses. They often use different financial strategies; which means that they try to accumulate less debt. Access to capital is important depending on the size of the business. More capital can equate to more growth.

Prior to starting the business, you need to have enough capital to sustain you during the first year of business.

It is important to forge good relationships with your financial team (e.g., your bankers). This can be critical to the success of the business.

Cognitive Differences? – Women are less confident in their abilities. Women look to have business that allow for flexibility, independence and family-work balance. Women are internally motivated, while men are motivated by market needs. Women need to consider market conditions before starting their businesses.

Women entrepreneurs score lower than men but higher than the general population on risk-taking. However, there is now clear tie between risk-taking and entrepreneurship. Women may not think of risk, but rather think about what they want to do with their lives.

Strategic Choice Differences? – Women businesses are over represented in the service area and retail. These businesses can require less capital and may be seen as more “women” appropriate. Survival rates in these businesses, though, may be lower.

Women put more emphasis on quality than men, which can help the success rates of their businesses.

Women are less likely to delegate authority or allow others to make decisions. They are less likely to consult employees about business decisions.

Women are more likely to set size limits to their businesses. For some, getting bigger means not knowing their clients as well. It can also have to do with how they want to use their time (not wanting to work all the time).

Women business owners make face structural barriers like not having access to large clients or facing discrimination in banking. This may be more of a barrier in some industries than others. The venture capital (VC) industry is primarily male, which can make getting VC finding more difficult for women.

There are cultural barriers that women face, too. Laurie Linn (on video) talked about industries/markets that are more used to dealing with men. She talked about how her business works to use a “male face” when appropriate.

  • Women need to work to reduce barriers.

  • Women need to make better – more informed - decisions.

  • Women need to build and use their networks.

  • Women need to mentor the next generation of women business owners.

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WISE2006: Why They Are Heroes

Michael Morris spoke on entrepreneurship. Dr. Morris is the Witting Chair in Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Entrepreneurship is the key to our economy. Our economy is based on nothing else but entrepreneurship – the ability to be faster, more aggressive, and more innovative. We are in the midst of a entrepreneurial revolution. It is the way we think and act.

Entrepreneurs are everywhere and women are helping to lead the way. Entrepreneurs exist in every industry, every business area, and in not-for-profit and for-profit businesses. They work in businesses and work for themselves.

Entrepreneurs take responsibility for change. They are quiet revolutionaries. Entrepreneurs celebrate the magic of “what if.”

Paraphrasing Gandhi, we should be the change we want to see in the world.

Nataly Kogan -- Managing Director, Hudson Venture Partners -- is a venture capitalist (and author) and also spoke on entrepreneurship. She said it was good to be in the presence of so many creative, gutsy, passionate and strong women. She spoke about a woman who during a time of adversity, started a business, which is now a multi-million dollar business.

Kogan said that whatever business who choose to create, make sure that it is something that fires you up inside. Make sure that you are passionate about it, so that you will get through the tough times.

The daring female manifesto: “To get the most out of your life, you must dare yourself to do it.”

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WISE2006: Welcome

Dr. Michael Morris (SU’s Whitman School of Management) and Maria Coyne (Executive V.P. of Community Banking of KeyBank) opened the fourth annual WISE 2006 conference. There are 500+ people – mostly women – at this event. Women have come from Utica, Oswego, Rochester, Cortland and, of course, Syracuse.

Dr. Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Syracuse University gave opening remarks, talking about women entrepreneurs. She talked about an article published by Matilda Joslyn Gage, a suffragist from Fayetteville (NY) where Gage talked about the contribution of women:

  • Invention of embalming

  • Discovery of silk

  • Invention of the cotton gin
Like women of the past, WISE is about doing networking, invention and innovation. But it is also about getting recognition – unlike the woman who invented the cotton gin. We must realize that we cannot do it alone, but learn from others. WISE is also about learning from others. Women in this region have historically been entrepreneurs -- as are the women at WISE.
Cantor ended by saying that we need to go out and make a difference.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Event: How to Negotiate… In Business and in Life

“How to Negotiate… In Business and in Life”

Featuring nationally known speaker Maria Marin

The Crowne Plaza Hotel

70 State St.
Rochester, NY

On Friday, May 5, 2006

Time: 12:00 to 4:45pm

Tickets: $45

It includes Luncheon, Training Seminar & Networking Session

RSVP by April 28.

Working Art Media is proud to take part in a collaborative effort of seven community and corporate Hispanic organizations to bring to Rochester internationally known Latina speaker Maria Marin on May 5th, 2006.

Maria Marin is the first and only Latina to teach the Art of Negotiation on a worldwide scale. As an author, columnist, public speaker, and expert in the art of negotiation, Ms. Marin has trained several Fortune 500 companies and is a prime example of who we want to attract to our community.

We are very excited to have Ms. Marin as our Keynote Speaker and Presenter at our luncheon and training seminar. The seminar, “How to Negotiate, In Business and In Life”, will provide you with techniques, strategies, tactics, and psychological aspects of negotiation.

Don't miss this opportunity to be part of an enriching and learning experience. Enjoy the contagious energy and passion of Ms. Marin, and network with other professionals.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Latina Women Scholarship Fund.

Register online at https://www.rochesterbusinessalliance.com/rhba/calendar/mariaMarin.html

Visit the event page at http://www.LatinasUnidas.org/MariaMarin/

Or contact Kelly Mullaney at 585-506-9299 for additional information

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Notes & Quotes: Leslie Rose McDonald

On April 5, Leslie Rose McDonald led a discussion at Women Business Owners Connection on mentoring. Some at this meeting brought their members, while others brought their mentees. In the audience was a couple from Canada, who mentor a local businesswoman. Also in the audience was Peggy Wood, who -- along with her husband, Frank Wood -- is known for her activism.

Many words of wisdom were spoken by McDonald and others at the meeting, including:
  • Women are willing to help each other succeed.
  • We are continually mentoring and being mentored.
  • When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
  • Success begets success.
  • Let the heart guide you.
  • As we face challenges, it is important to remember "you'll get through this too -- one step at a time."
  • It is okay to be afraid [of whatever you are trying to do], but do it anyway.
  • Mentors teach us all the things we need to know to be successful.
Two books were mentioned during the evening:

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Event: Advanced Business Skills Training Workshop

Appleseed Trust will be presenting its Advanced Business Skills Training Workshop beginning on April 13. The nine-week workshop costs only $40.00/person. During the worksop, each participant will do hands-on business plan building.

For more information -- or to register -- contact Appleseed Trust at (315) 424-9485 or info@appleseedtrust.org.

Event: Basic Business Skills Training Workshop

Appleseed Trust will be presenting its Basic Business Skills Training Workshop beginning on May 2 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. The nine-week workshop costs only $35.00/person and will help participants understand and learn the basic business skills needed to run a business.

For more information -- or to register -- contact Appleseed Trust at (315) 424-9485 or info@appleseedtrust.org.

Article: The Art of the Executive Summary

Do you need to write executive summaries as a way of selling your services/products to potential customers? In this blog posting, Bill Reichert (on Guy Kawasaki's blog) outlines what an executive summary needs to have. And as Guy said, the role of an executive summary is to sell, not to describe. If you do as Reichert outlines, you will be selling!

Article: Calling all mompreneurs

This article uses two "new" terms -- mompreneurs and minipreneurs. The subject, though, is about companies creating virtual call centers using those that work-at-home.
LiveOps enables clients to set up virtual call centers, connecting to agents that work from home. Made possible by availability of broadband internet access and affordable computers, the virtual set-up is spurred on by cost-conscious companies who would rather rely on independent contractors than hire full-time staff.
An interesting idea. Read the article for more details.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Are you dealing with difficult clients?

This post in Economic Development Futures Journal has wonderful advice for dealing with difficult clients. The advice includes "Realize it isn't always your problem." Go and read the entire post to learn some things to keep in mind.