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