Women In Business
Welcome to Women in Business. This is a place where women interested in business, whether established or not, can share advice and connect with one another.
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Tale of getting your product manufactured in China

Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:21 pm
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Yesterday I watched the Donne Deutsch show "The Big Idea," which I think is quite amusing from time to time. It's fun to see these excited people that start their own business and succeed, many times mainly because of their strong determination. The common denominator that the guests on this show all share (and that Donnie Deutsch likes to push to the limit of exhaustion) is: "I had no idea what I was doing, but I still did it." American Dream on uppers!
Antrobus Bag
Yesterday they featured a woman who designed a new kind of bag: "the Antrobus Bag" that have nifty storage features and that you can take apart and turn into smaller bags. So basically you get three bags out of your one bag. What I liked about her story was how she went about starting her business.

She designed a prototype and a friend suggested she get it manufactured in China to reduce costs. So off to China she goes, without any appointments and without really knowing what she's doing. She has four days before she needs to go back: four days to find the right manufacturer, see samples and set up a business arrangement. The first thing she does once she gets there, is to look through a directory/phonebook in the hotel lobby, then she asks the concierge which of these manufacturing places are located closest to the hotel. Next, she calls them up and strikes some off her list if they don’t give her a good response. Next meet with a few selected ones, ask for samples and the next day, select which one to work with. Set up an arrangement and fly back. Whew!

I am sure there are more details to this story, however, the basic story line is quite interesting. She just went there (I wonder how that worked out Visa-wise though), called places up, asked for samples, selected one place and made a deal. Sounds almost too easy - the girl's got guts.

Small Business Loan Resources

Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:45 pm
Comments: 0 Views: 207

If you are looking to take your business to the next level through financing, then there are several resources for business loans and grants to look into.

Angel Investors

An angel investor is an affluent person who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. While angel investors can be difficult to find, you might already know somebody through connections that would be interested in your idea. Make sure to talk about your new company to as many of your friends and family as possible - who knows, maybe your friend's neighbor's brother is interested in exactly what you're doing...

New Business Partner

By teaming up with a new business partner, you could gain finance as well as a new perspective, ideas and valuable contacts. Clearly understanding the market of your business and who your key audience/customers are, could help you find and decide which business partner would best compliment you.

Venture Capital

Venture capital is a type of private equity capital typically provided by professional, outside investors to new, growth businesses. V.C. investments are generally made as cash in exchange for shares in the invested company. If you have a really cool new idea, then perhaps venture capital is the way to go - if you could find a firm that is interested in your company.

Government Programs

The mission of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is "to maintain and strengthen the Nation's economy by aiding, counseling, assisting, and protecting the interests of small businesses and by helping businesses and families recover from economic and other disasters." The SBA offers several loan programs which small business owners can apply for.

Bank Loans

A bank loan is the traditional way to go about funding. When you try to get a bank loan for a small business, you are often judged on your personal credit. Therefore, your credit history is important when trying to get a traditional bank loan in order to finance your business.

Micro Loans

If you need a smaller loan up to $25,000, or even less than that, then perhaps you should consider a micro loan. Beware though, that microloan interest rates are much higher than typical loan rates because their risks are higher, 12.5% to 15% are common rates. In order to qualify for a microloan, you often need help from a business-support group with special ties to nontraditional lenders.

SBA Business Loans For Women

Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:48 am
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One of the most difficult tasks, as a small business owner is to find funding to finance and grow your business. If you are a woman business owner or a woman entrepreneur who is looking for available grants, loans and other types of business financing, there are several resources available from The Small Business Administration. It is true that women focused grants and loans are rare, but if you are determined to succeed and willing to put in a lot of effort, your chances of finding financing are much greater.

When applying for a business loan, one of the most important aspects is preparation. Do your homework, research various loan options, write a business plan and make sure you have all your ducks in a row.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) of SBA assists women achieve their dreams and improve their communities by helping them start and run successful businesses, regardless of social or financial disadvantage, race, ethnicity or business background. The SBA provides various loans and grants for women who are looking to finance their business.

Resources the Office of Women's Business Ownership provides:

National Association of Women Business Owner

Center for Women's Business Research

Association of Women's Business Centers

National Association for Female Executives

Online Trends of Personalization and Socialization

Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:05 am
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Prominent trends in today's online (and business) climate are personalization and socialization. Everyday new social networks pop up that let you create a personal profile and connect with people; magazines and newspapers let you specify areas you're interested in to provide you appropriate content; amazon and other shopping sites provide you with suggestions of things you might like based on what you previously looked at....

Everywhere sites want to make you feel special and present things that appeal specifically to you. Many companies no longer want to simply do business with customers, they want to get to know you, have you fill out a cozy profile, and market items to you more successfully: the online world only enhances this opportunity. And why not? As a consumer, it's great to easily find items that appeal to you, and besides, a more friendly, sociable connection only enhances that experience. As a business, your results will be more targeted, your customers will have a more enjoyable experience and you can predict user behavior to a greater degree.

Like today I came across a shopping site called http://www.stylefeeder.com. The concept is similar to http://www.kaboodle.com, you basically discover products from people with similar styles, and you get to rate each item and pass the word on about your experience and impression. When I first went to stylefeeder, they presented a few pictures and asked me to click on those which represented my interests (such as clothing, food, travel etc). Next, they displayed even more pictures based on the ones I just selected, and asked me to click on the ones that appealed to me the most.

Now, this website will have a good knowledge of my interests and style, and can easily match my preferences with other items as well as with other people who have similar likes. This site also got me on another point: it's a lot of fun to visit other users on their system that apparently share my taste and see what they have bought and what they recommend. This shopping experience just turned social and very customized. And if I actually find products I really like, it's very likely I'll come back.

These trends of personalization and socialization are still quite new and have only spread so far. I bet there are still many areas where these methods can be incorporated. After all, we are all social beings and we all like to feel special and be more efficient in our lives. If customized preferences provide you with a better experience, it's a win-win situation. Where do you think these ideas will be applied to next? Can you incorporate them into your business or into your life?

Forbes List: World's 100 Most Powerful Women

Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:56 am
Comments: 0 Views: 671

Today, Forbes Magazine announced its annual list of the world's most powerful women.

Angela Markel still goes strong with the top position, Condoleezza Rice was pushed down to position number 4 by Wu Yi, vice premier in China and Ho Ching, Chief executive, Temasek Holdings. Ho Ching really climbed the list, since last year she was positioned number 36, not bad to accelerate 33 steps in one year! Hillary Rodham Clinton apparently slid the list from position 18 to position 25 (it will be interesting to see where she'll be next year, or the year after that...) as well as Oprah who's now number 21 as opposed to last year's number 14.

Angela Markel

1. Angela Markel

Wu Yi

2. Wu Yi

Ho Ching

3. Ho Ching

Condoleezza Rice

4. Condoleezza Rice

Indra K. Nooyi

5. Indra K. Nooyi

Sonia Gandhi

6. Sonia Gandhi

Cynthia Carroll

7. Cynthia Carroll

Patricia A. Woertz

8. Patricia A. Woertz

Irene Rosenfeld

9. Irene Rosenfeld

Patricia Russo

10. Patricia Russo

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