WOMEN'S COUNCIL OF ENTREPRENEURS

Articles

  • 29 Dec 2020 6:18 AM | Anonymous


    December has come and almost gone quicker than we could ever have believed! And since the New Year is right at our fingertips we know most of us are focused on our long term goals rather than what we are going to post about next week on social media! So, WCE has put together another social media post guide to help relieve some of that stress! 


    This January Social Media Post Guide can be followed day by day, you can pick or choose which posts work best for you and your business, or you can use these tips as a starting off point and come up with your own posts! Anyway you use this guide we hope that this streamlines your workflow, as well as, helps you get more interaction on your social media platforms.


    To download our Social Media Post Guide for free simply click HERE


    You can find more helpful tips and downloads in our other Articles and WCE also offers online workshops! We have a workshop coming up on January 14th on How to Improve Your SEO Rank on Google. To register for this and our other events please go to our Upcoming Events.

    Let us know if this was helpful ~ we love feedback! 


    P.S. Please remember to always Shop Small with www.ShopaSmallBusiness.com! If you would like your business listed in ShopaSmallBusiness.com please go here: https://www.wearewce.com/Join-us


  • 28 Dec 2020 5:30 AM | Anonymous


    Women's Council of Entrepreneurs had the pleasure of interviewing the woman behind Right Track Financial, Michelle Nieman. Continue reading to learn more about Michelle, why she quit her corporate 9-5 job to start her own business and how she has stayed in business for over 20 years! 

    Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do:

    I am a financial services agency that educates individuals and families on their options for retirement planning and life insurance to ensure financial security for their family.

    I am looking to start focusing on teaching young people the importance of starting early with saving for retirement...the younger you are the easier it is to build and grow retirement!!!

    I also specialize in Medicare. I help take the confusion out of Medicare options and help beneficiaries make the best decision for them.


    How or why did you decide to start your own business?

    The first day I went back to work (in downtown Houston) after I dropped my 6 week old son at the sitter I received a phone call that he turned over for the first time all by himself. I immediately put in my 2 week notice and decided to get insurance licensed so that I could work from home. I was able to attend every single event he ever had all the way through graduation and still be able to earn a good living.....and I don't regret a minute of it. Not to mention that I was miserable doing the 8 to 5 work day and having to answer to others.


    Why did you choose this business or industry?

    When I was 17 I was riding the bus to school and I saw an insurance agency with a persons name on the door... I wondered how does a person come to own a business like that and if it would be possible for me to do something like that someday. I never really thought about it again. However, 17 years later, the opportunity came to be.


    Did you have any major setbacks or obstacles getting started?

    I can't say that I have had any major setbacks or obstacles in starting my agency. I have just taken it slow and steady and my business has grown every year.


    What differentiates your business from your competition?

    Although I am a single person in my business, I have many, many options for people when it comes to life insurance or Medicare companies. While most agents will focus on only a small handful of companies, I am contracted with many life companies and 13 Medicare companies. I don't have to push a product on a client for the reason of being limited on options.... I can offer what is best for them.

    What are you most proud of about your business?

    That I have managed to stay in business independently for over 20 years and have clients return to me year after year and send referrals to me on a regular basis. I always do what is right for the client....always.

    At almost every appointment, my clients tell me that they appreciate the time I take to explain the product, what their options are, and that I offer that they call me at any time.


    How has your industry changed in the last few months and how do you see it changing in the future (or will it)?

    The only real change that has happened in the past few months is due to Covid-19 and the inability to have community meetings. However, every client I have seen this year has opted for face-2-face meetings.

    ~DO you have a favorite small business?

    I don't really have a favorite small business, however, I do strive to support family owned restaurants.

    Do you have any pricing info to share?

    Pricing is based on many personal factors of each individual, however, I shop for the absolute best deal for every client.


    Right Track Financial's goal is to help you meet your wealth building goals both in the present and long term. To get your financial future in order in 2021 connect with Michelle here:

    www.righttrackfinancial.com


  • 15 Dec 2020 6:34 AM | Anonymous

    Packed schedule, feeling that you will miss an opportunity if you don't say "yes", feeling guilty if you say "no", feeling unimportant or insignificant if you aren't "busy". We can all agree these are very common and relatable feelings. We live in a society that considers "busy-ness" a talking point and we hold busy people to higher value. So, we push ourselves to be busy ~ to be important. But, there are repercussions of being overworked and overscheduled. According to WebMD overworking yourself can lead to health issues, such as, stroke, heart disease, mental health problems, diabetes, and abnormal heart rhythms.

    So, how do we know we are overworked and how do we stop ourselves from doing it. Here is a great article that lays out the 6 signs that you are overscheduled, the consequences, and what to do about changing your habits.

    https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/signs-that-you-are-overworked

    Our biggest piece of advice (which we need to follow as well) live your life for yourself. Don't worry about impressing that random friend on facebook, don't worry about gaining that approval from acquaintances, co-workers, or people in general. In most cases those are unattainable goals and in reality you will never feel satisfied until you are doing the things that make YOU happy. Release yourself from the things you don't need to do. Say "no" sometimes for your own mental health and try to slow things down to enjoy the beautiful life you have already built.

    Don't forget to check out our other articles ~ we have lots of free downloads such as a Gratitude Journal template,  Setting Goals Worksheet, a Daily Schedule Worksheet and many other tips. And don't miss our upcoming events for 2021. They are online and recorded so you can fit them anywhere in your (lessened) busy schedule!


    If you have any questions or concerns contact us through email at wearewce@gmail.com. And remember WCE always has your back.


  • 30 Nov 2020 10:49 PM | Anonymous


    The holiday season is the most wonderful time of year and can be very a chaotic time for most too. Then we add a pandemic and owning a business to it all and it can be a recipe for disaster.  We have put together some simple, quick tips than can help you time manage and maybe even stay sane during this holiday season!

    1. Set a Timer for Social Media If you don’t own a business you could do away with social media altogether to free up A LOT of time. But, as business owners we really need to be online connecting with our customers. Do we need to be online 24/7? Absolutely not. So, our suggestion is to set a timer - it can be 30 minutes a day, an hour day, 20 minutes a day. Whatever time limit you set for yourself - stick with it!
    2. Don’t Set Crazy Goals Now is NOT the time of year to be setting high level goals for yourself or your business. Keep it simple. Finish up any loose ends with what you have started and stay consistent with the things you already have in place. There is no reason to add anything extra on your plate right now. Whatever ideas you have you can achieve them in the new year. But, HERE is a worksheet to help you organize those goals for next year!
    3. Make Daily To-Do Lists ~ That are Realistic! Make a daily to-do list of all the things you need to get done FOR THAT DAY. Prioritize what needs to actually get done. Holiday cards are great! Are they an absolute must….no. Remember less can be more. You want to enjoy the holidays not be a giant ball of stress because of things that just weren’t necessary. 
    4. Take Time Out to Declutter It seems like this would add another to-do on that list. But, that’s ok. Because this To-Do will make it easier to get those other tasks done more efficiently. Along with getting your spaces (including your workspace) cleared, now is a great time to get rid of things that you don't need anymore and donate them. 
    5. You Don’t Need to be Perfect.  That needs to be said and res-said until it sinks in because this is by far the most important one. You, your business, your family, and your holidays DO NOT need to be Pinterest perfect. Jaron Lanier said “Seeking perfection in human affairs is a perfect way to destroy them”. You will never fully enjoy this time of year if you continue to seek perfection. Embrace the chaos.


    We hope this helps and now we need to go practice these tips ourselves!! Easier said than done! It’s so hard not to get wrapped up in the Pinterest perfection, but we really think tip #1 will help us to get out of that mindset. 

    Also, last November & in July we shared a Daily Schedule Worksheet that could help with this too. You can find it here:  https://www.wearewce.com/Articles/8102593

    And please don’t forget to shop small when you can while getting your gifts this year. As a small business owner you know how hard this year has been for us all. To make life easier you can go to www.shopasmallbusiness.com to save yourself a ton of time on finding small businesses to shop with!

    Happy Holiday Season, y'all! 


  • 24 Nov 2020 5:32 AM | Anonymous

    Eeekk!! It's almost the end of November!! With the Holidays literally around the corner we know that you are going to have less and less time to get the extra work done for your business! So, Women's Council of Entrepreneurs has created another monthly Social Media Post Idea Guide for you!! You can use all of these ideas each day at a time or you can choose the ones that best fit your business and brand. You can also use these ideas as a starting point and mold them into more of what your business/brand is about. No matter how you use these ideas we hope that it takes some of the stress out of this holiday season. ✨

    You can click ---> HERE to download the WCE December 2020 Social Media Post Ideas Guide!
    If you found this helpful please let us know and please browse around for other tips we have! You can also find educational workshops to help you with things such as marketing, taking professional quality photos and videos, learning Canva and even podcasting! Go HERE to view all of WCE's workshops!

    And as always don't forget to shop Small Business at www.ShopaSmallBusiness.com!!



  • 17 Nov 2020 7:23 AM | Anonymous


    Gratitude. What a powerful word. This word means a lot during this season, with Thanksgiving right around the corner. But, we strongly believe that gratitude should be recognized in your daily life all year. Do we follow this usually? Well, no. We let our own thoughts get in the way of that, we over think things, we focus on others successes instead of our own, and we let negative thoughts rule our day. 


    We created & shared this Gratitude Journal template last year not only because it is fitting for the Thanksgiving season, but Ali, one of WCE’s co-founders, experienced the need to search for gratitude while her youngest daughter had been in the hospital for a total of 12 days because of an emergency appendectomy and complications from it. With other health issues happening in the household as well, her and her family were in dark place. But, they pulled themselves out of it because of all the people that came to their aid to help in any way they could. Her family, her friends, the nurses, the hospital staff, the doctors. This created positive energy that she then projected onto her daughter. It made Ali realize the importance of gratitude.

    2020 has been a rough year for most people, so we know that nearly everyone can relate to the tough times that Ali experienced last year and most likely and unfortunately on a greater scale. This year has tested us on so many levels and it has and continues to put us in situations where it is hard to find the good or something to be thankful for. But, it is important to find those things to help keep us moving forward.

    Gratitude also carries over to our professional lives. Always focusing on the negative aspects of our mistakes or what we could have done will not help us achieve our goals. Finding the silvering lining in each of our days to help project us forward towards where we want to be is vital, especially during such strange and often lonely times. We need to be at peace with the process and realize all that we have to be thankful for around us ~ even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like there is anything.

    Please download the template here: WCE Gratitude Journal.pdf and follow the steps on the journal page.

    Start creating the life you deserve, by finding some light in the life you already have. 


  • 10 Nov 2020 6:10 AM | Anonymous

    Small Business Saturday is on Nov 28th this year, which means there are only 17 days left to plan! We put together some ideas to help you have a successful and fun Small Business Saturday. This list is similar to our one last year, but with a couple more ideas and a few tweaks with Covid in mind. Remember, during this season it is important to engage with your customers especially online to let them know what you have to offer them. 

     1. Create a Gift Guide for your Customers 

    Let your customers know all of the amazing products or services that you have to offer and which ones would be great for their mom, sister, daughter, grandmother, father, son, brother, husband, even neighbor! Your customers might not know what you have available so show them!! If you don’t have all these things add other shops around you that do!

    2. Sell Online

    With Covid it’s just not safe for ALL people to go out and shop. If you have the option for customers to shop online PROMOTE IT! Let them know how easy it is to shop with you from their home. If you don’t have a online shop consider doing facebook livestream shopping events or putting items for sale on your Facebook and taking payment through PayPal or venmo.

    3. Host a Small Event (In-store or Online)

    You could have local entertainment playing outside, activities for families, wine and shop for the ladies, online vendor event with other fellow business owners, the list could go on and on. 

    4. Have a Holiday Display for Photo Ops for their Holiday Cards.

    Make your business part of your customer’s holiday traditions! Make sure to post about it on social media so people know to go to you for it. You can have a photographer or just let them take the photo themselves.

    5. Non-product based businesses! You can celebrate Small Business Saturday too!

    If you have a brick and mortar by local shops you can put out promotional material with your business info on it like water bottles, masks, or hand sanitizer for the shoppers! If you don’t have a brick and mortar in those areas or at all, ask a local shop if you could provide those things inside their store their shoppers!

    6. Support a Local Charity

    On Saturday have a portion of your sales go to a LOCAL charity!! 
    Here are some local Charities in The Woodlands (there are so many more - do some research to find one that best fits your beliefs!!)


    CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County:
    https://casaspeaks4kids.com/

    Cassidy Joined for Hope:

    https://www.cassidyjoinedforhope.com/

    Inspiration Ranch:
    https://www.inspirationranch.org/
    The Montgomery County Food Bank:
    https://mcfoodbank.org/
    New Danville:
    http://www.newdanville.org/about/
    Operation Pets Alive!:
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/OPATexas/about/?ref=page_internal
    Children's Safe Harbor:
    https://childrenssafeharbor.org/
    Yes To Youth:
    https://www.sayyestoyouth.org/
    iGo Pink:
    https://thebreastcancercharities.org/
    Interfaith of The Woodlands:
    https://woodlandsinterfaith.org/
    Special Angels of The Woodlands: 
    https://www.specialangelsofthewoodlands.org/



    7.Collaborate with Other Small Businesses

    Help one another with promotions by passing out each other’s coupons or business info to your customers or sharing about each other online. People always like recommendations on where else they can SHOP LOCAL! If you’re looking for Small Businesses to collaborate with our www.ShopaSmallBusiness.com is a great source!


    8. Register with American Express

    American Express has free material you can use for Small Business Saturday, such as, posters, social media posts, and more ideas to help you make the best of your Small Business Saturday.
    https://www.americanexpress.com/us/merchant/shop-small.html#toolkit?linknav=us-loy-homepage-visittheshopsmallstudio

    9. Reward Check-Ins or Social Media Shares

    Give coupons, discounts, or a small (free sample size) gifts to people that share your business on social media or that “Check-In” on social media while at your store. Have a little basket full of goodies with a sign that says “FREE - just please “Check-In” on Social Media to let everyone you’re here and to SHOP SMALL TODAY!”  The influence of friends is a big deal when it comes to marketing! 

    10. Make a Countdown on Social Media and Utilize your platforms as much as possible!

    With so much competition during the Holidays remind your costumers you are still here! You can also use the countdown as a way to promote any promotions or sales you will be having on or leading up to Small Business Saturday too.

    11. Spotlight a Loyal Client/Customer, Another Small Business, or a Charity

    If you spotlight one of your customers they will share that post with their friends, same with another small business. Those are more eyes seeing what you have to offer them for the Holidays!


    12. Don’t let Small Business Saturday Sneak Up on You NEXT YEAR!

    Plan ahead and even set a reminder on your phone to start your planning on how you to celebrate SBS! Research if there are festivals you could be a part of next year - Check them out this year to see how well it is attended in the past. Also, see if there are local Holiday activities in the area that you could contribute to! Example: If you are a baker see if you could donate cookies for a meet and greet with Santa - imagine all of those people being able to sample your work! 


    We hope this helps you prepare for Small Business Saturday!! Add a comment below if these tips did help you out or let us know what your Small Business Saturday plans are!

    Good Luck and we will see you out there or online!


  • 3 Nov 2020 7:03 AM | Anonymous


    You might not think that photography is important for your business since… you’re not a photographer! Well, that is not true and frankly bad photos on your website or social media could make or break your business. Here are 4 reasons why *good* photography is extremely important for your business.


    1.  Why Quality Matters  “75% of online shoppers rely on product imagery when making a decision about a potential purchase.”  With that statistic alone you want to make sure your photos are the best representation of your product! You could have the most amazing product on the market, but if the photos are poor quality your product will look like poor quality.
    2. First Impressions  Most of the time your photos on Social Media & your website are the FIRST thing people see about your business. You want the people viewing your business and seeing clean, good photos so they know you are a business that takes pride in their work. The photos they see are the only representation of your business at that point ~ how do you want your business to represented? This goes for non-product based businesses as well. 
    3. Relieve your Customers Anxiety About Purchasing Online Some people don’t pull the trigger with a product online because they can’t physically touch it and see if they like it. Relieve that stress and doubt by providing high quality, crisp photos from multiply angles of your product.“22% of Returns Occur Because the Product Looks Different in Person”Don’t let this happen to your product because of poor images. 
    4. Good Photos are more Shareable! Good Visual Content is 40% More Likely to Get Shared on From your Social Accounts! Increased engagement is the most important thing for social media, if you have more shares and engagement then the social media gods will boost you up on news feed. That means you will be seen by more people and your potential client/customer will grow as well!


    It is fairly obvious now photos are an important part of any business. You can hire a professional photographer to take photos for you especially if you’re needing new headshots. It is also a good idea to learn how to take good quality photos so that you don’t always have to rely on a professional photographer for your quick shoots. WCE has a workshop coming up this Thursday, Nov 5th  ~ How to Photograph Products Like a Pro! You will learn simple lighting techniques, the best angles and composition, and ideas for color palettes! You can go

    HERE to register for the event. This is recorded event so if you miss it you can check back at our SHOP for the recording.


    Any questions or concerns please contact us


  • 28 Oct 2020 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    WCE had the pleasure of interviewing Katelyn Trulove of Trulove Webworks Web Design! Learn all about Katelyn, why she chose to start her own business, what sets her & Trulove Webworks apart from the others, and why she has a passion for small business! 

     ~Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do~

    I build websites for small businesses that speak directly to their ideal customer. We don't use templates or generic content. The client and I work together to find a real strategy and brand personality that shines through every aspect of their online presence.

    ~How or why did you decide to start your own business?

    I was raised on small business, and I've worked in small business my entire adult life. So, of course, I'm passionate about seeing local businesses succeed. I've been really inspired by the people I've had the privilege to work with. Owning a business has always been a dream for me, so seeing the amazing people in our community doing it gave me the courage to take the leap for myself. 

    ~Why did you choose this business or industry?

    Creativity runs in my veins. As I mentioned, I grew up in a small business, but another huge piece of my upbringing was art. My mother and both grandmothers were creatives and encouraged me from a young age to embrace my creativity. As a kid of the '90s, I watched the internet, and social media become what it is now. I think it just made sense to put that knowledge and my natural creativity into a career path.

    ~Did you have any major setbacks or obstacles getting started?

    Other than the obvious obstacles that life brings for everyone, it has been an interesting road. I had my third daughter at the beginning of this year and launched my company in July. Family life, along with the changes brought on by Covid-19, have forced me to look at things a little different and stay flexible. The impact of Covid-19 has undoubtedly made my commitment and passion for small business stronger. 

    ~What differentiates your business from your competition? 

    I describe myself as a concierge web design agency. It's really about the client, and I'm here to show them the way and facilitate success. I'm not the web designer that delivers a website that looks and sounds just like the competition, and disappears. Throughout the entire process, I keep you and your customer in mind. It's a collaboration to find a way to truly convey your message. I see every client as a relationship, and I take pride in nurturing that to create on-going success for us both.

    ~What are you most proud of about your business?

    My clients, they are kicking butt! I have been so lucky to work with people who share my passion and drive. Seeing them grow is a real privilege. 

    ~How has your industry changed in the last few months and how do you see it changing in the future (or will it)?

    A lot. Covid has taken a toll on industries in different ways. It has definitely shown small business owners how important it is to be able to communicate with customers and do business online. It has also made it especially important for those businesses to have a marketing company that will update their information at a moment's notice. I believe that shift is here to stay and I’m proud to be a part of it.

    ~Please share any pricing info with us! ~

    You can find my packages and pricing at https://trulovewebworks.com/web-design-pricing/

    To see everything Katelyn and Trulove Webworks has to offer and to connect with her on Social Media please go here: https://linktr.ee/trulovewebdesign


  • 27 Oct 2020 12:39 AM | Anonymous


    It's already the end of October and we can't believe it!! With all the Fall and Winter Holidays coming up so quickly we know that you are going to have less and less time to get the extra work done for your business! So, WCE has created another monthly Social Media Post Idea Guide for you!! You can use all of these ideas each day at a time or you can choose the ones that best fit your business and brand. You can also use these ideas as a starting point and mold them into more of what your business/brand is about. No matter how you use these ideas we hope that it takes some of the stress out of the upcoming holiday season.



    You can click ---> HERE to download the WCE November 2020 Social Media Post Ideas!
    And if you found this help please let us know and please browse around for other helpful tips! We would also love for you to join us at our LAST Workshop of the year. Leslie Osborne of Bessie Bakes Backdrops will be teaching us How to Photograph Products Like a Pro! Go here to register:  www.wearewce.com/event-4011247
    It's only $12 until November 3rd!!

    And as always don't forget to shop Local at www.ShopaSmallBusiness.com!!

Already a Member? Click icon below to login
Copyright © Woodlands WCE, LLC
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software