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Biz Beat Fall 2008 - In Progress

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					Fall 2008 issue                                                         Newsletter of the Centre for Women in Business



Helping Businesses Become e-Savvy
By Kristin Hirtle, Membership Assistant



Kristin conducted an e-interview with Abdul to discuss
the benefits of Student Connections to businesses like
yours.

Hired as a Business Advisor to work a three-month
internship two years ago, Abdul Hafez is now the
provincial coordinator for Student Connections. Student
Connections is an Industry Canada initiative that aims to
achieve two objectives. First, to help businesses become
more competitive by showing them how to take advantage
of today's technologies and second, to give post-secondary
students practical work experience. “We are able to
achieve both objectives by hiring the students as interns
and they train businesses,” explains Hafez. Training from
Student Connections includes topics such as; basic
computer literacy, Internet usage, marketing a website
and selling online.
                                                                     Abdul Hafez is the Provincial Coordinator of Student
                                                                     Connections. Please visit www.StudentConnections.ca
In the past training services were only offered to                   for more information regarding programs and services
businesses residing in HRM. Now, with the alliance of the            that are offered.
five University Business Development Centres in Nova
Scotia, such as the Centre for Women in Business,
Student Connections is able to extend its services across
the province. “We plan to hold ongoing scheduled                An Ipsos-Reid survey of more than 1,000 businesses with
computer classes and e-business seminars at all five            fewer than 16 employees in 2006 showed that the use of
University Business Development Centres throughout the          Information Technology (IT) acted as a “silent partner”
year,” says Hafez. “This new partnership will allow us to       that helped them deliver better customer service and close
ensure that the businesses who currently reside in rural        more sales. The same survey indicated that 75 per cent
areas receive the affordable technology training that they      believe that technology increases their competitiveness
need.”                                                          because it gives them access to relevant and timely
                                                                business information.
Technology training to become e-savvy is appropriate for
any stage of business. “Whether a business is in the start-     “Technology could likely be doing more if these
up, growth or advance stage, from basic computer skills,        businesses were just shown how they can use it more
to attaining an effective website, we do it all!” says Hafez.   effectively. And this is precisely what we do!” declares
No task is too small for Student Connections. For               Hafez.
instance, businesses have taken part in training to learn
something as small as how to attach files to an email, to       Please visit www.StudentConnections.ca or call
something as complex as finding out about today’s latest        1-888-807-777 for a complete listing of workshops and
e-marketing trends.                                             seminars presented by Student Connections.
Student Connections
         helping to build e-confidence

                                                             www.StudentConnections.ca


                                                             My name is Vicki Graham I started a business last year
                                                             on Brier Island, it is called Hooking by the Sea Retreats. I
                                                             am a rug hooker this was my hobby and I had such a
                                                             passion for it I decided to make it into a business. I knew
                                                             that the web is the way to go for advertising in today’s
The Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency              world so I hired a web manager as IT knowledge was not
sponsored an E-BIZ Boot Camp for small business              my strong point.
owners in this region in March 2008. Internet marketing
and in particular how to drive business to a web site was    So when I was contacted by the Annapolis Digby
an issue which was identified as part of our Business        Economic Development Agency (ADEDA) to see if I
Extension and Extension program for local businesses.        would be interested in taking the E-Biz Boot Camp
                                                             course that was being offered by Student Connections, I
There were a number of course options considered by us       thought I really needed to get up to speed! So, I signed
but we eventually settled on E-BIZ Boot Camp because         up for the week-end and was it ever intense! Well I must
of the comprehensive nature of the program. We were          tell you I went in on Saturday knowing absolutely
not disappointed. The feedback from our clients was          nothing about web managing, advertising, or all the free
superb. Most rated the course 5/5, there were a few 4/5      stuff that is out there for my own use. But when I left, I
and one less than 3/5 on the client satisfaction scale.      felt in complete control of my own destiny concerning
Personally, I had planned to be at the course for a few      my web site. Now up to this point, my web manager was
minutes to introduce the course presenters as a stand-in     the one who had control and that was not a good feeling.
for one of my colleagues who was ill. After making my        The first thought I had was watch out here I come and I
introductions at 10:00am I began listening to the            know what I want and I can feel completely confident in
presentation and found myself still there at 4:30pm. I was   my suggestions! The emotions and empowerment I was
back the next day. I can say without hesitation that if we   feeling was indescribable.
had been through this course prior to launching of our
own website it would have saved us time and money            I can’t thank Student Connections enough for the
many times more than the cost of the course.                 knowledge I received that week-end, even though it was a
                                                             very intense two days! A big thank you to ADEDA for
Your presenters, Darryl Halse and Mike Gillan were first     putting it together and the Student Connections Business
class and a tribute to the quality of professional being     Advisors who facilitated it. My web manager just sits
turned out by our universities. I wish you all the best in   there and looks at me when I start telling her what I want
promoting and delivering this program to future clients.     as I am on the ball and up to speed.
Mike Gushue                                                  Thank you Student Connections!
Managing Director
Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency                  Vicki Graham
                                                             Hooking by the Sea Retreat




             Check out www.centreforwomeninbusiness.ca for more CWB information.
            Member in the
             Spotlight:
                     Michele Stevens, Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd.

                                                   Advance is a comprehensive program of business development workshops
                                                   and one-on-one consultations for women business owners, addressing all
                                                   aspects of business to customize an advanced growth strategy plan. This past
                                                   spring Michele Stevens, Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd., took part in this
                                                   program that was developed in response to the needs of established woman
                                                   business owners embarking on the next level of the business cycle.

                                                    As one of eight women from Nova Scotia that took part, Stevens attended
                                                   25 hours of workshop instruction along with receiving 25 hours of private
                                                   business consultation. Each business woman met with her personal
                                                   consultant prior to the workshops to establish a clear growth strategy and to
                                                   clarify the areas for advancement. Then they attended workshop
                                                   presentations that were customized to their advancement objectives.

                                                   Stevens feels that belonging to the Centre for Women in Business, as well as
                                                   her participation in Advance has helped her enhance her business. "I feel
                                                   that my business is better because of my membership and help from the
                                                   Centre. The caliber of the programming and the opportunity to work with a
                                                   group of effective
                                                   women business
Michele Stevens of Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd.
                                                   owners has been
                                                   nothing but a positive
                                                   experience. I would
Michele Steven participated this past              recommend that every
spring in Advance. Advance was                     women business owner
presented in all four of the Atlantic              be a member," says
Provinces by the Centre for Women                  Stevens.
in Business. This new program
expanded our capacity to advance                   At the end of the
Atlantic Canada’s successful women                 workshop series, each
to the next level.                                 business owner
                                                   continued to work with
Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd. are                  her personal consultant
specialists in hand finished custom                to develop a growth
                                                                               Michele Stevens, along with seven other established
sails and canvas work designed and                 action plan for the         women business owners, participated in Advance.
built in Nova Scotia. Michele                      advancement of her         Advance is a customized business development series.
Stevens Sailloft Ltd. Carries on a                 business.
family tradition of personal service
and excellent craft.                               For more information on Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd. please visit
                                                   www.tallship.ca/sailloft .




                                                      Visit the Centre for Women in Business website for
                                                      upcoming training, workshop, and seminar dates.
   Ask the                                                                                 Upcoming
          Expert
Shari Mallory Shaw
                                                                                            Events
                                                                                          Visit www.centreforwomeninbusiness.ca for
Program Developer for the Centre for Women in Business                                    complete details about these events and more

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM for short, is a marketing term used              Tuesday, September 23:
in business to help gain and manage market share through a personalized customer          Top Ten Tips for Networking Success
experience. In short, it means, getting to know your customer’s likes and dislikes        Women’s Networking Night
through an ongoing relationship and not just a one time transaction.                      Holiday Inn Express,
                                                                                          Kearney Lake Road
Relationships can prove to be very lucrative for both the business and the customer       Wednesday, September 24:
once they are established. The customer benefits; from being informed of products         Explore Your Entrepreneurial Potential
and services that they could benefit from which in turn will lead to less time            The Meadows, MSVU
“shopping” around. The business of course benefits financially through repeat,
loyal customers and excellent low cost marketing through word of mouth and                Wednesday, October 1 to Wednesday, November 5:
testimonials.                                                                             Blueprint for Success
                                                                                          Objective: Write your own business plan
The backbone of CRM is establishing a list or database of client information. This        Centre for Women in Business Management Series
                                                                                          Holiday Inn Express,
can be done the old fashioned way – pen and paper – or with the use of a wide             Kearney Lake Road
range of technical tools and computer software. Information collected can vary
depending on the purpose and can be as simple as name and addresses for mailing           Wednesday, October 8 to Wednesday, November 5:
lists or more detailed information such as a listing of past purchases and the            Making It Your Way
corresponding payment methods. But what are the risks?                                    Objective: Write your own growth plan
                                                                                          Centre for Women in Business Management Series
Improper use of the information can damage your business’ reputation, cause legal         Holiday Inn Express,
implications and ultimately the trust that was built between you and your customer.       Kearney Lake Road
As a business, you must be cognizant of the how to collect, utilize, and distribute
                                                                                          Tuesday, October 21:
your customer’s information. Customers are smart and are wary of protecting their         Top Ten Trade Show Tips
personal and business information. With the advent of identity fraud and                  Women’s Networking Night
unsolicited communication (emails and telemarketing), the customer could become           Holiday Inn Express,
reluctant to provide information. Therefore, it is necessary, as a business owner,        Kearney Lake Road
that you know how to handle information and use it for the purpose it was collected
and communicate your purpose of needing the information to further build and              Wednesday, November 12 &
enhance the customer relationship.                                                        Thursday, November 13:
                                                                                          Watch Me Grow
                                                                                          2nd Annual CWB Conference
There are many resources to help you. In Canada the Office of the Privacy                 MSVU
Commissioner of Canada, provides information specific to businesses and the
private sector as well as for individuals. A host of additional resources are available   Tuesday, November 18:
through this government department. Their website is:                                     Café Conversations
http://www.privcom.gc.ca/                                                                 Women’s Networking Night
                                                                                          Holiday Inn Express,
More resources may also be found through individual industry and trade                    Kearney Lake Road
associations.
                                                                                          Tuesday, December 16:
                                                                                          Stocking Stuffer Showcase
Information on your customer is probably one of the most valuable resources you           Women’s Networking Night
have and as with anything valuable, you should take care to manage it.                    Holiday Inn Express,
                                                                                          Kearney Lake Road




                                    Biz Beat is a quarterly newsletter published by:              Printed with the kind support of
                                    Centre for Women in Business                                  Minuteman Press, Dartmouth.
                                    Mount Saint Vincent University                                CWB member rates available.
                                    Halifax, NS B3M 2J6                                           Call 434-1434.
                                    P: 902-457-6449           F: 902-443-4687
                                    www.centreforwomeninbusiness.ca
                                    cwb@msvu.ca

                                    The Centre for Women in Business operates with support from the Atlantic
                                    Canada Opportunities Agency and Mount Saint Vincent University.

				
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