Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Women Owned Businesses Continue to Increase

Seems like I was just writing about this last month (and the month before and the month before) but more data has arrived on the rise of women owned businesses. Hispanic Business magazine recently published an article fleshing out some of the details of the stunning increase of businesses owned by women.

Remember that statistics can be shaped and presented like Silly Putty, so before you go out and get all loca understand these important points:

1. YES, women owned businesses in the US grew by a rate of nearly 3 times the national average

2. YES, we rock as our numbers show.

3. NO, we are not a majority yet for overall businesses owned in the US. The Hispanic article states:
Despite that growth, the actual number of women-owned business is still dwarfed by male-owned ones. In 2002, women owned 29 percent (6.5 million) of nonfarm U.S. businesses, compared to the 59 percent reporting as man-owned and the 12 percent owned by men and women.

4. YES, Latinas are always on the rise as the article continues to state:
Among Hispanics, women owned a little more than a third of businesses in 2002, up from 28 percent in 1997.


Our numbers may not be the majority yet, but our increases are significant. Women (Latina or not) this growth indicator is important and (cross your fingers) will dramatically reshape the way business is conducted both nationally and on a global level.

Read the entire article here on Hispanic Businss Online

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ComadreCoaching.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Even The Pope Has It!

My comadre Tanya and I have frequent conversations about the lack of online savvy by many of our Latina business owner peers. She and I get it, but sometimes when we talk to others, we are met with glazed ojos.

I think I just found a new way to convince them to think digital: The Pope's website.

OK, so the pope has a web presence and you don't? C'mon, what are you waiting for? I bet he even has a blog and a podcast. MySpace? Unlikely.

The website is very interesting, especially when you get into the secret documents and all. Imagine the monks of the middle ages transcribing those beautiful parchment documents by hand... now they're ripping code and getting crazy with flash animation. Gotta love it.

Get started with a blog. Here at Blogger they're gratis. Just do something. The masses await you. (did I just make a pun?)

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ComadreCoaching.com

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Marketing Power of Podcasting

The first time I heard of podcasting, I knew I had to start one of my own. I brought the idea up to a famous marketing guru/coach and she didn't see the value of it. Good thing I kept talking about it with others and followed my gut because now my 2 podcasts are heard worldwide and generate a lot of buzz for my business.

The marketing power of this is multi-layered and very effective.

The biggest gain is the relationship building aspect.
People get to hear you, meet people you find inspiring, and get to know your style. In my work as a coach, that is essential. It gives potential clients the chance to "try before they buy" and it doesn't require us scheduling actual time. People can pass along your podcast and it serves as an audio referral.

The next part is the valuable information podcasts provide.
In my podcasts Release Your Inner Loca and Coaching a Go Go, the listener gets information to help in business and in life. Inspiring women are featured in each episode of RYIL and CAGG gives you tools and tips to help in a variety of situations. My co-host Catherine Bruns is a therapist turned coach, I'm an educator/entrepreneur turned coach, and between us we can opine on just about any topic.

Third, there is the "Now here's a word from our sponsor" element.
You can mention your name and business at the top of each episode, relate positive stories of how your business has helped people, and further bond with your target audience by reinforcing how you were made for each other. It's not obnoxious advertising, it is a polite reminder of who helped make this show possible. The nice part is that all of it fits nicely together. It's educational, informative, and helps keep your name out there.


To keep you going on the topic, here is a great article on The Marketing Power of Podcasting.

And if you want to try making your own podcast, you can get a 30 day free trial of the service I use at www.ComadreAudio.com.
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ComadreCoaching.com

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Comadre's Top 2 Picks of the Week

The other day I heard someone mention the impact of Latinos on business in the U.S. One thing he mentioned (that I affirm whole-heartedly) is the cultural trait we have to go with word of mouth referrals. The snazziest marketing materials will run a distant second to a glowing recommendation.

I get asked A LOT who I recommend for certain jobs and services. As your comadre, it is my duty to share with you people who I think are awesome and who will help you as much as they helped me.

1. Red Hot Copy Speed Copywriting Workshop
I attended this last spring on the advice of my friend Michele PW (another person I highly recommend). For 3 days I learned the ins and outs of identifying my target market, and crafting every word in my written materials to speak to her. This course helped me launch my new group coaching program and helped me say it with corazon.

2. Crafty Chica Creativity Cruise
I've known Kathy Cano Murillo for a few years now and we've both had fun encouraging each other's success. She is the author of several books on crafting with a Latina flair, but more than that she is an inspiring creative soul whose writings always help me seek out the humor in life. She writes about the mistakes she's made while trying to force perfectionism out of a project and I can always apply those lessons to my work.

On September 29 she's hosting a 3 day Creativity Cruise from LA to Baja and back. It's going to be a blast making art with a pro and sailing the beautiful waters of Baja. Your business and your life will be infused with a whole new outlook and tools for success.

The cruise has a special program for children so don't let kids be your excuse not to go! I'm heading over there with my daughter, my mom, and my uber-crafting tia! I want you there too. Check it out.
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ComadreCoaching.com