16 Nov 2013 Written by TotalHarmonyCoaching

Do You Suffer from Sleep Sabotage?

Thought Leader Blog

Have you ever noticed how getting a good night sleep has such a HUGE impact on literally everything you do? How you interact with your kids, neighbors, business contacts? I’ve really been paying attention lately to just how important this is. It literally makes all of the difference from having a throw-in-the-towel type of a day v. a rainbow and butterflies type of experience. What I mean by that is when you’re tired, it’s easier to slip into self-doubt and negative thinking. This does not lead to making good decisions. In fact, it leads to such a downward spiral that you might feel like giving-up on your business. Am I right?

When you get a good night sleep on the other hand, you are flying high and can see the positive in everything. Your world is filled with rainbows and butterflies. You know your success is certain and you’re so excited to get your message out there. Your ideas and decisions are different when you’re in this place. You are acting like the businesswoman/man you want to be. You are at your best.
14 Nov 2013 Written by maryellent

Stop Networking and Start Making Money

Thought Leader Blog

It’s a self-marketing tactic I’ve really come to hate…

I’m talking about “networking.” Sure, I’ve been hearing all about networking for years. I’ve even used the word myself!

But when you get down to it, networking is cold, sterile… and it seems self-serving: one person trying to form a web of contacts whose sole purpose is to do something for him.

That’s not how I want to do business.

Lately, I’ve been rethinking what “networking” means. For instance, when I meet people at a so-called “networking” event, what is my end-game?

You know what? My ultimate goal is not to network with them… It’s not to find out what they can do for me… It’s not to add them to my address book until I need something from them…

It’s to connect with them!

08 Nov 2013 Written by chicceo

How To Retain Your Customers

Did you know that retaining 5% of your customers can lead to a 30% increase in profits? 
04 Nov 2013 Written by RefWriter

I Once Was Random, Then I Reinvented Myself

Thought Leader Blog

In college one of my suite mates, Robin, used to call me random.  She would say I had the most random interests, jobs, and friends.  Just last week I met John, and he told me I was the most random person he had ever met.  I don’t believe I am random by definition, lacking a definite plan, purpose or pattern, but I believe I am passionate about a lot of things and I do not fear change or the unknown.

31 Oct 2013 Written by FarrahKennedy

Women in Business: Optimism Reigns Supreme

The government shutdown ended a week ago, and while business is, well, back in business, there was a ripple effect that the economy felt. But don’t count female business owners among them; according to a recent survey, women business owners are optimistic about their future success.

Riding on the coattails of National Women’s Small Business Month (did you know? It’s every October), the Cox Business Snapshot of Women Entrepreneurs surveyed 624 US women business owners and found that about three quarters of US based female entrepreneurs are optimistic about their businesses, despite recessionary fears due to congressional failure to permanently raise the debt ceiling.

Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors in the area of small business, currently accounting for a third of all small businesses today, which is a major improvement over figures from 1970, when women owned only 5 percent of small businesses.
31 Oct 2013 Written by chicceo

Amex Open Forum: When To Fire Your Customers

"When we started the company we were struggling. We started understanding that we had the wrong customer." - Avi Wazana

In the video When To Fire Your Customers 
featured on the American Express Inside Successful Small Business Series, Avi Wazana describes how he let go of his best customers. This is something that not many people talk about but we have definitely experienced at Chic CEO. Firing a customer is a very harsh way of saying that it's not a good fit and that is one of the most important things you can do for your business. It's vital that you understand what it is that your company provides and to whom. 
Here's are two different scenarios that we experienced:
1) A advertiser that was not the right fit. When Chic CEO was first conceptualized, we believed that advertisers would provide the main source of revenue and fuel the fabulous content that we provide so we were hungry to find advertisers that were interested. In that hunt - we overlooked a big issue. We have two customers, you - our community and the advertisers and we need to satisfy both in order to have a successful, scalable business. One of our biggest advertisers and one that we worked the hardest to land, turned out to be wrong for our community and in turn, we had to sever the relationship - man, that was a really hard decision, especially because they were helping to pay the bills. Looking back it was the right decision for sure!
2) Believe it or not, Chic CEO is not right for everyone. I know - shocking! But seriously, we know who we intend to serve with our content, tools, resources and events and we speak directly to them (you). If we are able to create that bond that we try to create by offering the right mix of products right when our community needs them, we've hit the nail on the head and we get really happy about that. However - we have heard from some women that weren't connecting with what we were putting out there and in those circumstances we had to really weigh if they were our target market and we should be making drastic changes or if they were the minority. In the case that these few were not satisfied we had to open the door for them to exit gracefully instead of trying to satisfy their needs beyond the scope of what Chic CEO offers. 
30 Oct 2013 Written by chicceo

Amex Open Forum: Always Be Open To New Ideas

"There's not only one way to do something and if you're stuck in that rut of 'this is the way we do it, and this is the only way we do it' you won't be successful" - Benjamin Grossman
In the video, Always Be Open To New Ideas, featured on the American Express Inside Successful Small Business Series, Benjamin Grossman and Craig Samuals, owners of B&C Restaurant Group believe that they have something to learn from everyone in their company. Their example of cutting tomatoes is a great lesson on allowing the people around you to innovate. 
Being open to the ideas offered up by others is how they've been a successful team so far, cut costs, cut labor time and maintained a thriving business. 
If we pay attention to the people and things around us, we will start to notice little efficiencies that tend to pop up while doing menial tasks. Finding new ways to sort inventory, file emails, organize events and even cut tomatoes can result in big impacts for your business' bottom line. 

In addition, it's great to figure out ways to add in double checks so that you don't have to back track when a simple mistake is made. With Chic CEO we have at least 2 people look at every important piece of communication that goes out so that links are correct, images are fine, and misspellings are caught. Little mistakes like that can lead to duplication of work, upset clients and lost productivity. 

Take some time to evaluate new ways of doing things, of asking friends in completely different industries how they might handle a certain task - do some research.  You might find that you are able to do things faster, smarter and for less money than if you had stuck to how you've always done it. 
30 Oct 2013 Written by chicceo

YOU-Training by Brandon Hawk

Brandon Hawk, a member of our Brain Trust, will be holding an event in Dallas on Nov 8-10! If you are in the Dallas area, you definitely don't want to miss this!

30 Oct 2013 Written by chicceo

Amex Open Forum: Relationship Marketing

"Relationship Marketing has to be from the heart and has to be real. Those people will come back to you and help your business grow." - Isabella Hewitt
In the video Using Relationship Marketing, featured on the American Express Inside Successful Small Business series, Isabella Hewitt runs a retail shop called The Spot. As she describes in her video, she tried magazines, newspapers, the Internet, social media and more. Relationship marketing is her best tool. By building a relationship with her customers, she found it to be the most effective way to retain them. 

Almost everything we do in business has to do with creating relationships - that's why getting referrals is so important. Entire industries like real estate or insurance are powered by referrals. Referrals are an extension of building strong relationships with your current customers.

So how can you build strong relationships with your customers? Isabella recommends finding out what is the most important thing in their life at the moment and recognize it. More marketing isn't always the answer, she says, it's the impact you are making in their life with relationship building.

Sending flowers, notes, remembering birthdays - these are small gestures that ultimately foster and create a great relationship with your customer. 

What’s one lesson you’re learned as either a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur? Share your response with us using #sharingadvice on Twitter or Facebook!

sponsored by American Express
28 Oct 2013 Written by LauraRenner

A lesson from the fitting room

Thought Leader Blog Post

Ever buy an outfit or article of clothing only for it to sit in your closet with the tags still on for years? How about the opposite side of the spectrum where you bought an outfit you absolutely loved and couldn’t wait to show it off? What was the difference in those outfits? Could there have been a way for you to know which scenario would happen prior to your handing over your credit card to the salesperson?


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