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Systemize Your Business – Communication

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By Beverlee Rasmussen, GroYourBiz Member Surrey/White Rock

Your greatest leadership asset is your ability to communicate. Do this well and everything else will fall into place.

Communications systems start with listening. Listen to employees, suppliers, shareholders and of highest value listen to your customers. Humans respond best when they feel seen, heard and understood and the only way to create that sense of trust is to actively listen.

A great listening strategy is to be curious and ask questions to fully understand what the other person is saying. A front line employee will provide you with amazing insight into your own business when you take the time to listen. It is ok when you don’t agree with or like what you hear, remember you are gathering information and making the other person feel valued.

One of the most powerful statements to remember when listening is “Acknowledgement is not Agreement”. You don’t have to agree with what you are hearing nor do you need to comment in the moment. Simple acknowledge what you hear with a nod and this will take the pressure off having to respond.

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When company processes are documented it significantly improves communication. Team members then don’t have to constantly be asking questions on how you want things done. Ensure that there is a system for feedback of systems that are missing, broken or need improvement. This will reduce frustrations at all levels giving your team the ability to communicate to you and others on the team. A systems communication tool can be as simple as a whiteboard or notebook where everyone is encouraged to share their suggestions.

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Getting things done through other people requires robust communication and the more that is documented the easier this is. Small business owners often become the bottle neck stopping or delaying projects due to their inability to fully communicate what they want and need.

As time consuming and annoying as the process of documentation can be, it has such a high return and will move a business forward so much faster it is worth every hour spend doing it.

Imagine not having to do everything yourself because you have clearly communicated the vision, values and goals of a project and together have documented the steps to achieving those goals. Powerful and profitable!

Consider scheduling communication meetings daily, weekly, and/or monthly with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page. Keep meetings positive, forward focused and make sure everyone has the opportunity to contribute to solutions.

Until next week, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!

By Beverlee Rasmussen, Systems Business Coach A passion for small business and an entrepreneurial nature combined with an astute ability to assess needs and provide solutions has led to success as both a business owner and champion for business owners Worldwide.

Systemize Your Business – Trust

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By Beverlee Rasmussen, GroYourBiz Member Surrey/White Rock

“If people like you they will listen to you, if people trust you they will do business with you”- Zig Ziglar

Trust is both a feeling and a virtue in an organization. It is both given and received in relationships with your team, customers and stakeholders. Trust is primarily experienced and it is used to make decisions, build strong collaborative teams, and create great companies.

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A lack of trust in a business can quickly turn to chaos, lost revenue, lost productivity and the ability to retain good people. Lack of trust shows up as competition, individuals just “doing their own thing” and poor communication.

Small business owners are especially vulnerable in relationships and need strong trust building skills. These skills include the ability to share a clear vision and strategy, the ability to articulate what they need and to listen carefully to understand the needs of others.

Trust is built or diminished by repeated behaviour. Documented procedures help build consistency which in turn builds trust with customers and teams. When employees know that they are doing their job in the way it was designed builds trust and confidence. It removes the fear of trying to figure it out on their own.

As trust builds, teams begin to better cooperate and coordinate efforts.

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How does trust show up in your organization? Do you feel like you have each others back? Are you able to openly share challenges and opportunities? Does the work get done even when you the owner is not there?

A small business owner can strengthen trust by being honest and following through on promises.Taking the time to ask questions and to carefully listen also builds trust as well as being transparent about your own challenges and opportunities.

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Transparency builds trust as does vulnerability. Admitting when you are wrong and making things right builds trust. Keeping commitments and being respectful of others also helps.

Consider that clients are counting on our companies to provide the product or service they are looking for; when we deliver that well we are building trust. In turn, trust leads to referrals and the positive cycle of new business relationships continues.

Trust begins with us. Our actions, inactions, words and intentions. If things are not going as planned, if your team is not getting along or doing what you expect of them consider reflecting on your own behaviour to see where trust may have been broken.

Strengthening trust can start happening immediately with small consistent actions led with good intentions.

Until next week, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!

By Beverlee Rasmussen, Systems Business Coach A passion for small business and an entrepreneurial nature combined with an astute ability to assess needs and provide solutions has led to success as both a business owner and champion for business owners Worldwide.

GroYourBiz Virtual

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ABBOTSFORD, September 21, 2017—“ Tapping into the export market is like breaking through another glass ceiling for many women business owners,” says Barbara Mowat, President and Founder of GroYourBizTM “That’s why we’re creating an exciting new way for women entrepreneurs to help each other access foreign buyers.”

Coinciding with the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on September 21, GroYourBizTM along with partner Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is creating a Virtual Global Export Board for interested women business owners to join.  This initiative will provide a monthly peer business advisory group of 16 or more women to draw upon the skills, expertise, inspiration and energy of like-minded entrepreneurs offering practical solutions to utilize the opportunities created in Canada and the EU under CETA.

“CETA is a progressive free trade agreement which covers virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-EU trade in order to eliminate or reduce barriers,” explains Sanjeev Chowdhury, Director of the Free Trade Agreement Promotion Task Force of Global Affairs Canada.  Prior to CETA, only 25 percent of EU tariff lines on Canadian goods were duty-free, but when CETA is provisionally aplied, 98% of Canada’s exports to the EU will be completely duty free. CETA will increase Canadian-EU trade by $8 billion a year. Chowdhury congratulates GroYourBiz’s new approach: “Kudos to them for paving the way for women entrepreneurs to take advantage of this new trade agreement.”

GroYourBiz is building on its successful approach to using advisory boards to help small business owners expand their operations and be more successful.  Its advisory boards exist all across Canada with boards in the UK and the US and plans to expand elsewhere. “The critical difference with the new board is to utilize TELUS Business Connects technology and create virtual boards,” states Mowat. “This will assist women entrepreneurs in different countries to reach out to each other and share experiences and strategies.”  TELUS has been a strategic alliance supporting GroYourBiz since its inception.  Suzanne Trusdale, Vice President of TELUS Small Business Solutions, “I’m a strong advocate for diversity and I’m passionate about helping women entrepreneurs succeed. Using technology for global growth breaks down barriers.”

Andrea Ewart, International President of OWIT stresses the advantages of supportive networks: “Many of the women we work with find that building a global enterprise is very difficult to achieve.  Guided by an expert facilitator, peer advisory boards are especially suitable for businesses wanting to move to the next level.  This virtual advisory board will focus on ways that OWIT’s women entrepreneurs in Canada and the EU can package, present and pitch to take advantage of the export opportunities created by the CETA.”

Mairead Lavery, Senior Vice-President of Business Development at Export Development Canada, agrees: “I commend this initiative for helping to support women in business to become more successful exporters.  This is great for our economy.”

About CETA

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) makes a new chapter in the relationship between the European Union and Canada.  This deal will increase jobs, strengthen economic relations and promote new economic opportunities for Canadian and European business.

About GroYourBiz:

GroYourBiz Ltd., headquartered in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, is an initiative that brings a tactical and proven approach to meeting the needs of women business owners who want to take their business to the next level. GroYourBiz provides monthly peer business “Advisory Board” meetings to women, engaging top experts, business analysts, and presenters and a ‘practical approach’ training guide. The program known as MyBusinessMyBoard™ has 25+ Advisory Boards active in Canada, USA, and UK, with the intent of global expansion. Entrepreneurs draw upon the skills, expertise, inspiration and energy of like-minded entrepreneurs offering practical solutions to attracting tomorrow’s customers and expansion needs.  For more information, visit www.GroYourBiz.com

About OWIT:

The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is a global association for women in international trade and business. Our 2,000-plus members impact hundreds of millions of dollars in trade and business transactions annually. OWIT’s focus is on adding value to our corporate, mid-sized, small business and individual members around the world. The OWIT network is comprised of Local Chapters situated across Central, North and South America, Western Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as a Virtual Chapter for professionals involved in international trade without an OWIT local chapter where they reside or work. OWIT’s mission, “United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business,” provides members with a collective forum to enhance personal and professional development, exchange business contacts, and drive global policy initiatives.  For more information, visit www.owit.org.

About our Global Chair and Advisors

betty-woodBetty Wood, Chair

GroYourBiz Virtual Trade Advisory Board

Betty Wood is Principal Consultant at W Consulting – initiatives focused on improving the success of women entrepreneurs. Betty is known for her distinguished career in supplier diversity, international development consulting, women’s business market leadership, and commercial banking. Her professional career of 32 years with RBC enabled success as a founder of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, a consultant with the IFC and World Bank, and a founding leader with WBE Canada.  She has received multiple awards for her work from RBC, The International Alliance of Women (TIAW); Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT); and the Global Business Women’s Network (USA).

 

Madeleine Baker madeleine

Manager, Technology Strategy, Procurement & Supply Chain

TELUS

Maddy has had a broad and exciting career within the Procurement & Supply Chain field.  Within TELUS, Maddy and her team are responsible for leading the future state strategy, processes and policy within the function, in addition to operational management of compliance, risk, offshore support, Supplier Diversity, technology, and data intelligence.  She is a strong advocate for expanding the profile and impact of Supplier Diversity within Canada, and sits on the WBE Canada Board of Directors, and GroYourBiz Vancouver Board.  Prior to joining TELUS in 2016, she held progressive roles within GlaxoSmithKline in Europe and North America, ultimately holding the position of Head of Procurement, United States, including responsibility for delivering the organisation’s Supplier Diversity commitment.  There is a strong commitment within TELUS towards Supplier Diversity, and a recognition that our programme delivers an improved and innovative customer experience by taking proactive steps to provide equal access to a supply base that reflects the diversity of where we live, work, and serve.  

 

angelaAngela Marshall Hofmann, President

World Strategies, LLC

Angela Marshall Hofmann is President of World Strategies, LLC, a certified, woman-owned government affairs and policy consulting firm that provides strategic, innovative solutions to accelerate global investment, manage risk, enhance reputation and drive significant cost savings by responsibly leveraging the chain. For over 20 years, Angela has served as a trusted advisor to members of the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch as well as to CEOs and senior executives in complex, multi-national organizations for over two decades. Previously, Angela was Vice President, International Corporate Affairs, at Walmart Stores, Inc. where she led the company’s external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce and sourcing countries around the world.  She also launched innovative public-private chain capacity building projects focused on transparency, building safety, agricultural development and women’s economic empowerment in Latin America, Asia and Africa.  Angela joined the company in 2002 as Director of International Corporate Affairs in the company’s Federal Government Relations office in Washington, D.C.  In 2005, she moved to company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas where she led corporate affairs engagement in the Americas as well as gained operational experience in the supply chain when she was promoted to Vice President, GNFR (indirect spend) and Sourcing Services in Walmart Global Sourcing. Prior to Walmart, she served as International Trade Counsel on U.S. Senate Finance Committee under Chairman Max Baucus.  Angela joined the Senator’s staff in 1989 as a congressional liaison in the State of Montana and in 1997, after receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana, was his legislative counsel for agriculture and trade in Washington, D.C. Angela is a staunch advocate for women’s empowerment and continues to be active in the Organization of Women in International Trade (“OWIT”) a voluntary, non-profit association of professionals interested in international trade.  She joined the organization in 1997 and in 2005 served as President of the Washington, D.C. chapter.  From 2010-2013 she served as President of the organization which included 25 chapters and 2000+ members around the globe.

 

teresaTeresa Guillén Zulueta, Founder

Mujer Exportadora (Export Woman), Spain

Teresa’s 20 years of professional experience include exporting industrial and consumer goods, services and food products to more than fifty countries covering all five continents. She has extensive practical experience with the systems and tools of international trade intelligence and international trade promotion, both from the institutional point of view as well as providing specific assistance to the SME.Teresa is the author of the following books: Export Guide; Practical Export Guide for Agro-Food Distribution; Practical guide for Agro-Food Distribution: Country Sheets; and Agro-Food Distribution Channels in the EU.  Her professional work is also complemented by the participation in various forums and seminars on issues related to Foreign Trade, such as: Opening New Markets, Customers Search, International Negotiation, Trade Barriers, Distribution Channels, Promotional Actions, Intercultural and Gender.

To Apply to the Virtual Global Board for the Canada/EU-UK Market please click here.

Willy-Nilly or Will She Not!

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By Isabel Banerjee

That is the question . . .

I recently “re”-heard the term ‘Willy-Nilly’ and thought how appropriate the timing to be reminded of this amusing sounding expression and its more serious meaning.

Is it coincidental that this occurred at the time that purposeful and strategic thinking and planning were on my mind?

I think not! As others’ have said, there are no co-incidences just well-timed messages.

I’ve been facilitating GroYourBiz MyBoard workshops these past few months about how to create and leverage a Strategic Plan for business to get predictable results.

‘Willy-Nilly’ is defined by various dictionaries as ‘action without thought or in a haphazard or spontaneous manner’. Translation; leaving one without choice or control of the outcome.

Is that the way you run your business? Your profession? Your life?

‘Willy-Nilly’; leaving your fate to kismet; in the hands of others – good or ill intentioned. Really? Is that not like throwing your money, time and efforts into the middle of the street and waiting to see if the winds blow favorably?

‘Willy-Nilly’ is like stepping into a boat as the tide goes out, without oars or a compass and hoping that you get somewhere you’d like to be, on time and not eaten by sharks.

How could we leave our fate, our investment, our livelihood to chance like this?

Rather than ‘Willy-Nilly’. . .  I recommend “Will You Not!”

“Will You Not!”:

  • Allow others to control your journey
  • Be unclear of your chosen destination and arrival time
  • Have a Vision and Mission that are out of alignment with your core values
  • Leave to guess-work what resources you need to accomplish your goals
  • Be vague about the measurements and milestones that verify that you are ‘on target’ and ‘on schedule’
  • Have any uncertainty of the daily, weekly and monthly priorities and activities to focus on and which ones to delegate
  • Forget to celebrate progress along the way
  • Wait until it is too late to adjust course to avoid the icebergs

And

‘Will You Not!’ begin this year without a clearly articulated vision and strategy and check your progress regularly!

It is never too late to plan and to be accountable to yourself and to your advisory board!

Wishing you a Wonderful New Year, a Joyous Voyage and a Safe Arrival at the Destination of Your Choice!

 

ibIsabel Banerjee
Commander of My Destiny
Managing Director, GroYourBiz, Arizona
CEO, BIYA Global, Inc.
CEO, The Encore Catalyst
INT’L Leader, My Big Idea

Three Hours on a Couch – Part 2: Value for My Membership Dollar

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By Maureen McCabe

See HERE for Part 1!

Three-hours on a Couch

Each month I spend approximately 20-30 minutes while riding the subway to our meeting, completing my Monthly Check-in Report. It is optional and not turned in. The process helps me to recognize the progress and accomplishments of the previous month, to identify where I’m stuck and what’s keeping me back, and my personal commitment to action and accountability for next month’s meeting.

At the meeting each member provides an update. I have said it’s like lying down on a psychiatrist’s couch with my feet up for 5-8 minutes seeking help. But unlike the psych, who often doesn’t answer your questions, we have a chair and a dozen experts, fellow board members who genuinely want to help and support me.

Their insights into business processes and my ongoing monthly lessons are more than I could have imagined. Great guest speakers help to fill in gaps, ones that I didn’t realize that I had. Time set aside for “member challenges” is wonderful, not just for the member but all who support and share our lessons learned.

Each month, for three hours I focus exclusively on my business. Prior to joining GYB, I had not set aside time to plan for my business. Like many business owners, I was too busy with the day-to-day operations. I’ve now bought into planning and make time, but not as much as I should. I remind myself, patience grasshopper – a throwback to the Kung Fu, martial arts drama on TV. Change begins with one step.

Nightmares & Revenue Canada

After listening intently for eight months to a fellow Markham board member’s updates by Irene Ji, CA, I realized that I wasn’t getting the service or support from my own accountant that I needed. I literally started losing sleep imaging what could happen if I were audited. I hired Irene, and we have completed two year-ends. No more nightmares for yours truly.

Referrals. Revenue.

Many GYB members and prospective ones have heard me often say, and I was very sincere, “I don’t care if I ever get a client or referral, that’s not why I joined or what I value. It’s the couch that I love”.

I have used the services of many members and recommended others to clients and friends. An unexpected bonus – I got a client from our board which more than paid for one year’s membership. I’ve now amended the above statement:

“I am grateful for every client and referral, but that’s not why I joined. It’s a nice bonus.”

The GroYourBiz membership fee is equivalent to a monthly massage. It’s an investment in my business. Yep. That’s why I’ll be a GYB lifer too!

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web-lgMaureen McCabe (GroYourBiz, Toronto). The McCabe Marketing team works with established business owners to create and manage successful marketing projects that generate more sales leads. Request the free report: 8 Money-Burning Marketing Mistakes that Reduce Profits   Check out her humourous blog, 9 Tips for Media Interviews – How and Why I was Interviewed on CTV

 

 

 

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