Boss Lady (Part 2)

by Megan M. on March 10, 2007 (Blog) |

[X] 05:00PM Boss Lady (10AB)

“Know your competition.” You need to be aware of your competition, but these ladies have found that often you’re working together and being collaborative with your competition. What the Austin Craft Mafia did can be really productive—your competition doesn’t have to be your enemy. Traditional business books don’t seem to feel this way, but it’s true. You’re in the same game, and you can be on the same team.

How have online communities helped your businesses? They wouldn’t even exist! “Females need community.” You can’t always get out to a social event, and so there are online communities! Commenting on blogs, branching out and talking to people, this is what the internet is for. Global community—you can be a part of this global community… in your pajamas at home. (Vickie Howell.) Lauren Bacon: All word of mouth. Someone’s happy, they talk to their friends, send us business… it’s the absolute best marketing you can have. Service companies, women-owned companies, all feel this way. Pre-qualified leads are the best leads and it’s right there in word-of-mouth. Many companies (some of them present) have never done traditional advertising—never needed to.

“Except for that one job which I vomited at…” <--- Funny story where Alex Beauchamp walked into her new job, vomited in the hallway, and walked right back out… Ha ha!

How do you maintain creative control in a creatively grounded business, while you grow? (Emphasis on the growing part!)

Jenny Hart: Sometimes you just have to walk away. It’s important to do what’s right for you, to be who you are. “A contract doesn’t mean anything if the person who are working with you on it don’t understand what the intention behind it is…” “That’s not the relationship you want.” Be really good at communicating.

Vickie Howell: Sometimes you just have to make a decision between being PURELY yourself and biting the bullet for financial stability—but there is a certain point where you need to walk away. Water it down a little bit if you have to, but it’s not okay to lose your integrity as a person, your product, or your dream.

Lauren Bacon: Didn’t want to get big, didn’t want to lose creative control! So they advertised for perfectionists and hired on contract and found great people. But they were so overworked and blowing the leaving at five thing, ridiculous hours… and the irony was, they were totally losing their mojo and their clients weren’t getting the service, the fabulousness, that they deserved. Lauren had to hire someone who was a really really good coder, and let go of being the coder. Someone else sometimes has to be the expert that you would like to be in your dreams—and it gives you time to think about your company. And LAUREN has been reading E-MYTH, which is on my reading list! I need to pick up this book!

Sometimes you really have to let it go… Alex: “I wasn’t a happy web designer, it was just something that I did…” We have all experienced trying to do everything at once, letting go can be very hard but you have to let go. Also, hiring employees, Lauren is saying, had a huge effect on their bottom line. A huge percentage of the employee’s time is billable, so he’s the most profitable person in the company! Everything happens more quickly, cash flow picks up, everything is going more smoothly!

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