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2016 Women in Business Growth Conference Engaged, Educated, Empowered – Business Spotlight By Jannise Bush

Jannise Bush20160216Each year (for the past ten years), the Women in Business Conference seeks to engage, educate, and empower women. This year the conference was focused on growth, personally and professionally, and while the target audience is women in business, conference attendees are not all business owners or women. Some were thinking about starting a business and others were employees who could increase their value to or make connections on behalf of companies they work for. The information offered was empowering for all. I will share information gathered from a few of the speakers.

“Be Real! Stay Focused! Think Big!” by Bill Cirone, Chairman/CEO of Federal Companies:

The key to business success is customer retention. Retention requires (1) trust—every transaction, every encounter builds or breaks trust, (2) accessibility—be available and responsive, and (3) predictable solutions. A company that delivers all three consistently is built on core values that never change and are lived out reliably by everyone working on behalf of the business.

In addition, as a business grows, business owners should move away from multitasking and develop people who can replace them. Development of others is based on: (1) A set of visible core values. (2) Cash flow management. Most important, don’t work for people who don’t pay. They don’t care if your business survives. (3) Transparency. Communicate revenue goals to everyone in the company, their roles in achieving the goals, and meet regularly. When people know why their role is important, they take ownership in achieving the goals. Then look to your exit strategy, retiring from a stable and successful business run by people who can keep the legacy going.

“Find Success by Creating Distinction!” by Cindy Byrd, Founder/Owner, Image Potential:

Marketing a brand is more than a logo, a business card, and pretty packaging. There are four building blocks to building a successful brand. (1) Servant leadership in business and the community. (2) Networking. Create a board for your business of people who can help move the business forward. (3) Brand identity. You are the brand; the way you act, the way you dress, predictability and integrity; everything you say/do. Compromising the brand decreases the value of relationships. (4) Legacy—when to get in/out, defining success, and developing an exit strategy.

“Attain What You’re Working For!” by Fran McKay, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones:

What are we working for? We spend our lives working to achieve goals, but what comes after we’ve accomplished them? How do we want to live out our retirement? Today, most employers do not offer pensions. Social Security and Medicare benefits may provide only a fraction of our desired cost of living, and the largest expense in retirement will likely be medical expenses. If we don’t want to spend our golden years having to choose between buying food or medicine, planning and saving now should be a top priority. Fran McKay recommended we document the following. (1) Where you are currently. (Only 6 out of approximately 30 attendees had a written budget.) (2) Decide your endgame. Determine the age you want to retire and how much you need to live the way you want to live at retirement. (3) Determine if your endgame is realistic. (4) Develop a plan for achieving your endgame. (5) Track your progress toward the endgame on a regular basis and adjust as needed.

In conclusion, if you want to engage with business owners/professionals, be educated, or be empowered to achieve your goals, set a calendar reminder for the Women in Business Conference in June 2017, www.talktodrisnow.com.

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Contact Jannise Bush at (309) 550-5184 or jannise@jabservices.org.