Jane is not sure how it got to be January 8th already, but we will accept that the calendar, and the newspaper, and the computer know what day of the year it is, far better than we do. We are so immersed in several fascinating projects that the passing of time is inconsequential.
We also wonder if this is happening to any of you, dear reader. Are you being overwhelmed with tasks that demand more time than you have to give, in an effort to improve sales this year? Jane would encourage you to stop and give the women's market more thought this year. Yes, we have battered the "marketing to women online" theme almost to death, by now. If you are not sold, we excuse you from our post. But, we caution that your competitors, those who see the strides women are making, and recognize their buying power, will overshadow you this year.
For those who do understand the power of marketing to women, especially women who shop online, Jane would like to share three entrepreneurial stories discovered in her newsletters, all neglected stories Jane did not have time to read when they were sent to her back in the fall of 2004. Jane is quite escstatic, however, to have read them today, and to be able to bring them to you, our loyal readers.
These three entrepreneurial stories are, as you may expect, centered on women. They serve two purposes:
(1) To show you how women are actively pursuing businesses in traditionally male dominated areas, and how they are succeeding. We hope this will inspire you to look at the women's market as YOUR market, no matter what you sell, and that you will see alittle bit of yourself (no matter what your gender) in their stories.
(2) To get the creative vein in your brain working harder. These are women you can and should be marketing to. These are women who are full of determination. They are accomplishing amazing things, just as we know you are, dear reader. As they take their businesses to greater heights, they will be looking to you -- yes, you -- for office supplies, advice, employees, business supplies, knowledge management, content management, computers, computer supplies, flowers, gifts, cleaning supplies...need we go on?
Let's go on...to the individual stories:
From the Sacramento Business Journal, this story-- "Breaking through barriers," shows that Lynne Cardwell, owner and operator of the auto repair shop Car Care Center, is a fine example of a woman with verve and fortitude, battling not only traditional thinking, but goverment agencies. I quote,
"She doesn't just own the shop. Cardwell has plunged into the business, restructured the organization, boosted revenue fourfold and testified before state and federal lawmakers on bills affecting small, family-owned garages."
We ask you, what's not to like about that?
Next, from The Business Journal (Minneapolis/St. Paul), "Boxing gym hits home," a story about Lisa Bauch, who could not find the 'perfect' place for her Uppercut Boxing Gym. It took 12 years, the story says, but she finally found a home for her business-- and she's off and running. After moving several times, the last time out of space at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis, Lisa admitted,
"That wasn't really where I saw the gym. When people go to a boxing gym they want a certain look, a certain feel."
Not conducive to an upscale hotel, obviously. Lisa finally found a renovated warehouse and is happily doing business there, offering general fitness programs, kickboxing, personal training and sparring. She has clients ranging from "teens who want to go into competitive fighting to lawyers aiming to relieve stress." (Matt Homann, are you listening?)
There is nothing not to like about that...and yes, we know that's double negative!
On to our final, inspiring, exceptional, woman entrepreneur, Christine Long, a young woman who, according to the article in the East Bay Business Times' article, "Tech distributor finds $1 billion formula," to quote,
Liang started her business in 1987, when women in technology were even more unheard of. Today, she's not only the largest woman-owned business in the Silicon Valley, she's ranked one of the top 25 woman-owned businesses in the United States! She sells Intel, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and ViewSonic, as one might expect. No small potatoes there!
Jane would like you, dear reader, to take this last quote with you, a quote about Liang's reluctance to be interviewed by the press. A quote that exemplifies many, many women and the focus we bring to our world, a focus you would do well to understand,
"Her avoidance of public attention is simply her way, say colleagues, who point to her insistence on letting her staff and company receive the honors, rather than taking the credit for herself."
What's not to like about that? It brings to mind our good friend, Rosa Say of Managing with Aloha! We think she would agree.