Sunday, March 3, 2019

small business ideas for women

small business ideas for women

Take Your Social Media Marketing to the Next Level with this San Diego Event - Small Business Trends

Posted: 02 Mar 2019 10:30 AM PST

If you want to take your social media marketing to the next level, Social Media Marketing World in San Diego is the place to be.

From March 20 to 22, the three-day event will have some of the leading experts in social media marketing addressing everything there is to know about these marketing channels.

Brought to you by Social Media Examiner, the event attracts more than 100 of the world's top professionals specializing in social media marketing. This includes experts in the most popular platforms who offer live video, social strategy, content marketing, analytics, video creation, and much more.

This year there will be 17 tracks and workshops teaching attendees the latest trends in social marketing so you can improve your marketing ROI when you launch your next campaign.

The learning opportunity is so great, even large enterprises send their marketers to this event. In 2018, thousands of small marketers took part along with their counterparts from Best Buy, Bose, CBS, Caterpillar, Cisco, Colgate Palmolive and many others.

You can choose to attend Social Media Marketing World in sunny San Diego in person, or get a virtual ticket.

Click the red button and register now.

Register Now

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Social Media Marketing WorldSocial Media Marketing World
March 20, 2019, San Dieg, Calif.

Discover the best social media marketing techniques from the world's top experts. Experience three phenomenal days with the best social marketers, discover the latest tactics, and master social media in 2019. Join 7,000 fellow marketers and influencers at the mega-conference designed to empower you with business-building ideas — brought to you by Social Media Examiner.

Elevate Your Digital InfluenceElevate Your Digital Influence
April 13, 2019, Issaquah, Wash.

Are you ready to grow your business? Join us and learn how to put together a PR plan and leverage what you are doing on social to grow your level of influence. Are you ready to be a leader in your marketplace? #ElevateYourDigitalInfluence

Listening to the Voice of the Customer WorkshopListening to the Voice of the Customer Workshop
April 23, 2019, Boston, Mass.

Join Applied Marketing Science (AMS) for the next open-enrollment session of "Listening to the Voice of the Customer," our acclaimed training workshop, on April 23-24, 2019 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel located in the heart of downtown Boston. Led by veteran product development and market research experts, Gerry Katz (AMS Vice Chairman), and John Burns (AMS Principal), this course will introduce Voice of the Customer market research and teach you to use it to accelerate innovation in business-to-business markets.
Discount Code
SMALLBIZ ($100 Discount)

Beachpreneurs Beach Camp 5Beachpreneurs Beach Camp 5
April 26, 2019, Daytona Beach, Fla.

For starters, we're for Women Entrepreneurs only. During Beach Camp, you'll have plenty of opportunity to learn, apply and mastermind with warm successful women.
You'll also have time to sleep in and you'll get long breaks to relax and walk the beach or go for a swim. We didn't create a conference at the beach just to lock you away in a conference room from dawn til dusk. Beach Camp is a lifestyle focused event so you'll be spending as much time enjoying your life as you will be focusing on your business. Join us today!

Listening to the Voice of the Customer Listening to the Voice of the Customer
October 16, 2019, Chicago, Ill.

Led by veteran product development and market research experts, this course will introduce Voice of the Customer (VOC) market research and teach you to use it to accelerate innovation in business-to-business markets. The workshop uses a lively, interactive format with numerous hands-on activities and practice exercises to build skills and will also expose you to the latest applications of these techniques in areas such as machine learning and journey mapping.
Discount Code
SMALLBIZ ($100 Off)

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You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.


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Mama Pro empowers socially-vulnerable women, presents first trainees' results - Astana Times

Posted: 02 Mar 2019 03:00 AM PST

ASTANA – In conjunction with the upcoming International Women's Day, capital-based Mama Pro public fund presented the results March 1 of its inaugural one-month intensive training course launched in January for socially-vulnerable women.

Mama Pro is a small centre that makes big efforts to support the professional growth of women who are stay-at-home mothers, have had employment difficulties due to the special needs of their children with disabilities or are victims of domestic violence.

Co-founder Aizhan Alzhanova, a U.S. State Department graduate, applied last year for funding to realise the project. Mama Pro was chosen among 1,000 ideas worldwide. The U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan and Soros Foundation also support the project.

U.S. Embassy Attaché for Culture and Education Ann Perrelli (L).

Approximately 120 women applied to be part of the pilot programme, but because of limited funds, only 40 were selected. Ten women came to the capital from other cities in Kazakhstan.

Mama Pro trained them in computer literacy, copywriting and entrepreneurial activity and the women presented the business ideas developed during the training. The courses inspired them to open support centres similar to Mama Pro, reinforcing its importance. The participants shared their ideas for centres with more specified direction such as psychological support for women and special schools for children with Down Syndrome.

"They have wonderful projects and now go back to their communities and make a difference. I think it is especially important during International Women's Day to celebrate the accomplishments of women, because they really provide for their families and support communities. This was an important project for us to support," said U.S. Embassy Attaché for Culture and Education Ann Perrelli.

In just six months, Mama Pro's organisers developed the programme; prepared the equipment, workspace and materials and found coaches such as social activist Emin Askerov and other U.S. government programme alumni. As a result, the fund managed to form a small community of women inspired to change their own lives, as well as bring positive change in their neighbourhoods.

"A lot of work has been done from creation to implementation of the project. Today was such a day, which showed what results we have as women were inspired by this project and what prospects we have," said Alzhanova.

Mama Pro Co-founder Aizhan Alzhanova.

24 Ideas for Your Next Small Business in 2019 -

Posted: 02 Jan 2019 12:00 AM PST

More than 20.5 million Americans own their own businesses.

Another 53 million work freelance full or part time in various fields ranging from computer programming and rideshare driving to, yes, journalism and writing. (Hello!)

Most of the rest of us want to. The OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) found that 58% of women and 69% of men in America agree with the statement "I would rather take a risk and build my own business than work for someone else." The numbers say that you, dear reader, would like to be your own boss.

So what holds us back? A lot of things, really. Money for one. Starting a new business can take quite a bit of startup capital that few people have just lying around. The bigger issue, though, is often ideas.

Thousands of talented people want to write a novel, if only they could think of a story. Many more would start a band if they had a catchy tune. Then there are the millions of entrepreneurs who would open their own business if they could come up with the right thing to do.

To help with that process, here are some ideas for small businesses to get you thinking.

Food Service

The restaurant business is tough. While not as bad as people say, it's still a competitive industry. On the other hand, if you know what you're doing this can be a business model that people love, that fits into any community and that faces almost no competition online.

1. Fast Casual Restaurant

Picture a Five Guys or a Chipotle (CMG) . These are the modern version of old-fashioned diner dives, a long counter where someone serves up good food fast. They're a step up from fast food in quality, a step down from full service in price and overwhelmingly popular. Better still, this model requires less overhead since you can run it with fewer staff and a smaller footprint.

2. Bar and Coffee Shop

Hugely popular and astonishingly rare, the bar/coffee shop hybrid answers three questions: What does a coffee shop serve at night? What does a bar serve in the day? And why is it that the same people seem to go to both places… Serve espresso at 10 a.m., craft beer at 10 p.m. and keep that marginally employed writer (hello again!) spending money all day.

3. Bakery

Everyone loves a treat and these days bakeries have an edge in that market. Social media positively melts down for psychedelic frosting or a cookie that looks like it will bite you back. With creativity and a novel approach, a bakery has the ability to stand out in a market that many other dessert shops lack.

4. Coffee Shop

A regular coffee shop can work. In fact a popular one can succeed brilliantly, but beware. This is a low-margin business that depends on moving a positively enormous amount of product. What's more, your regular customers will be money losers. What, you think a business actually profits off someone camping on his laptop for five hours after paying $2 for a dark roast?

Professional Services

The big advantage to a professional services firm is that you can open one cheaply. You're essentially selling your own skill and expertise. Especially today, you may need little more than a web presence and a business card to get started. These are just a very small number of the ways you can do it.

5. Contractor

Can you fix things or build things? You may want to look at construction and contract work. Maybe you'll go into carpentry, helping people remodel their houses. Maybe you know how to fix plumbing or rewire electrical systems. Whatever you can do it's almost certainly in high demand.

6. Accounting or Law Firm

Obviously this is a niche field. Unless you currently are a CPA or a JD there's not a whole lot of value in hanging your own shingle, and you can probably expect an unpleasant visit from the real thing if you do. However, for white collar professionals there's a lot of value in launching your own offices. Just have some runway capital on hand. It will probably take a while to succeed.

7. Consulting

This one is a little more nebulous… The question is, ultimately, what are you good at? Do you currently work in PR? Maybe it's time to offer those services on your own. Do you do human resource work? You sound like a terrific career coach. Have you spent years in a bank? It might be time to offer financial planning. Whatever you're good at, someone out there could use a consultation on the subject.

8. Graphic Designer

Graphic design combines two fields that rarely overlap: Technical competence and a creative eye. If you can look at a blank page and not only see what belongs there but also know how to make it happen, there are literally thousands of companies out there who will need your services. From designing logos to helping a business create its entire look, graphic design is a strong and growing field.


Media is an upside-down place to work at the moment. While many business models struggle to survive, others have emerged and made individual bloggers and YouTube stars millionaires. You probably won't be the next Ariana Huffington or PewDiePie, but there's a lot of room here to make a living.

9. Freelance Journalist

Outlets have begun relying on freelancers for an increasing amount of coverage, so there's lots of opportunity to work as a reporter and be your own boss. Just beware… Work can vanish in an instant and you cover all your own costs. Not a problem when writing from your desk, but it can make it hard (if not at times impossible) to get out in the world and do the shoe-leather work of real reporting.

10. Freelance Writing and Editing

Firms need people to write PR copy for them. Other companies need someone to polish up their website, edit books, ghostwrite articles or help clean up white papers. Today every business in every business model produces many, many times more written material than they used to. Someone has to ensure that it all sounds crisp, clean and professional.

11. Blogger

Here's the secret that most people don't realize about being a blogger: It's a business. Shocking, right? Yes, to succeed as a blogger you have to write catchy, interesting articles. You also have to understand SEO, audience engagement, bounce rates, monetization, affiliation and partnership deals and much more. This is a marketing and technology business, and if you've got a flair for that you might have the makings of a successful blogger.

12. Social Media Consultant

This overlaps with consulting, but then again most things do. Most businesses know two things about social media: First, it's incredibly important. Second, almost no one really understands it. If you're one of the few people who do get the marketplace of ideas on Twitter (TWTR) , Instagram, Facebook (FB) and more, you might have a thriving business opportunity.


The best thing about starting a business in technology is that it's generally location-independent. You can solicit business from all around the world and may well get to work with clients who can afford to pay top rates for outstanding work. This is a high-skill field that's in high demand. If you've got the chops, consider opening a business as a…

13. Web Developer

Bespoke web development, like graphic design, combines technical savvy with an eye for aesthetics. This isn't a field to enter without experience, but if you're a sharp, talented coder who can lay down a clean user interface against a sharp color scheme, it might be time to start seeing which local companies look like they still use Geocities.

14. Freelance Coder

Many companies rely on outside contractors to help finish big projects, especially during crunch time. Like all freelance businesses this is generally a boom-and-bust model. You might spend three weeks looking for work then spend a month barely looking up from your computer screen. If you can make the income stream work, though, this is a lucrative field with many opportunities.

15. App Development

The best part of app development is passive income. Every product you create will sit out there on the iPhone and Android stores making money for you long after you stop putting a single hour into it. Of course, that depends on getting those products in the public eye. So brush up on your marketing skills, come up with a few ideas and enter the world of independent development.

16. Security Consulting

From white hat hackers to security analysts, the market for security consulting right now is enormous. You can even build a thriving business just speaking to company employees, helping IT fix its PEBCAK errors. This is a high-skill field that demands an outstanding resume, but if you've got the right background it can be incredibly lucrative.


Modern retail is at once a challenge and an opportunity. Online stores have stolen customers from brick and mortar at a devastating rate, it's true. But their biggest victims are the large-footprint businesses like Sears (SHLDQ) , Borders and Best Buy (BBY) . In their place has opened up plenty of room for the small, highly-curated shop that provides an experience as well as a sale.

17. Bookstore

Don't click away yet! Bookstores may struggle, but that doesn't mean they can't succeed. If you can build an identity and experience into your store, with a well-chosen selection that makes life easier than clicking around through Amazon's (AMZN) vastness, you may well have a healthy business model on your hands. If that doesn't convince you, think about this: Americans love to read, and two-thirds of them would rather do it on paper than pixels.

18. Clothing

Clothing has an edge over most other retail spaces these days, because try before you buy matters so much more in their space. You can't slip on a blouse or see just how those jeans fit while clicking around a website. Especially in the far more lucrative women's market this is a critical feature. If you've got an eye for fashion and can build a selection that will get people in the door, this business model comes with a built-in killer app: The changing room.

19. Food Shop

People need to eat. People who want to eat rarely want to wait two or three days for shipping. Get where we're coming from? Whether you open a niche shop that caters to specific interests or sell general goods to the millions of Americans who live more than a mile from the nearest grocery store, a well-placed small grocer can succeed and thrive.

20. Online Retailer

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. One of the best things about online retail is using breadth of audience to make up for niche demand. Whether you want to sell artisan products, like hand-carved jewelry, or creative works like your very own board game, chances are someone out there wants it. With a storefront you'd be out of luck unless that person coincidentally happens to live a few miles away. Online, though, your customers can find you from anywhere.


These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning and launching your own business. The truth is, for almost any skill set there's someone out there who needs it and will pay good money in exchange. The best way to come up with a business idea is to sit down and think about what you can do, what you love to do and what people need. Here are a last few ideas to help with the creative process.

21. Bespoke Travel Planning

Yes, the internet put a stake through the heart of traditional travel agents. Good riddance. That was a business model built entirely on having access to booking systems and little else. Enter the bespoke travel planner. You help your clients have the best possible trip for their money, booking them into hotels, tours and restaurants they never would have found otherwise. You don't sell access, you sell expertise. That's a winning formula.

22. Storage

You know what isn't sexy? Storage. You know what makes an absolute fortune these days? Storage. Whether renting lockers to individuals or bulk warehouse space to companies, secured storage is a booming business model nationwide. You'll need more startup capital than most businesses because this requires lots of square footage, but if you're looking for a business that people need… Well, look no further.

23. Diet and Fitness

Some people look great in tailored shirts and yoga pants. The rest of us would like to look like those people. If you know how to build a diet and exercise plan for losing weight and looking great, we've got some news that's hardly new: You're sitting on a product that lots of people want. Get out there and sell it.

24. Landscaping

Perhaps you simply love working with your hands. You have a talent for helping things grow and shudder at the thought of sitting behind a desk all day. Now consider that there are far, far more people who own homes and lawns than who share your gifts. Yep, right now there are millions of Americans looking at desiccated dirt and mournful trees wondering, "how do I fix this?" Consider that your bat signal.

Lewisburg is a small town success story in West Virginia - The State

Posted: 02 Mar 2019 08:42 AM PST

Known for its historical landmarks and unique assortment of restaurants, along with its begonia-bedecked downtown streets and vibrant arts community, Lewisburg is adored and envied in equal measure by its neighbors in southern West Virginia.

Defying statewide trends, Lewisburg's population continues to inch ever closer to 4,000, even though Mayor John Manchester is quick to point out that the official tally is still 3,830 — the number that appears on the 2010 U.S. Census report. That figure won't change until next year's census is complete, but other summaries — like the one reported by — put Lewisburg's population just above the 3,900 mark today. Lewisburg has added more than 1,400 people in the last 40 years, according to figures cited in the city's current comprehensive plan, which was adopted in late 2015.

So, what is the secret sauce that makes this small town so special?

In a recent interview with The Register-Herald, Manchester said there's no single ingredient that created the city's success or that will guarantee its continuation.

To understand one component, he suggested taking a look at another significant number in city-data's snapshot of Lewisburg — the one that shows almost half of its adult residents have at least a bachelor's degree.

Home to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and only a couple of miles from Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, the city boasts more than its share of doctors and other medical professionals. And as the Greenbrier County seat — with its courthouse and associated offices — Lewisburg naturally attracts lawyers as well.

Acknowledging, "we have a lot of lawyers and doctors," the mayor said having those professionals and others means that city government can tap educated people for its boards and commissions.

"You need to have a well-balanced board — not carbon copies of each other," Manchester said.

The orderliness that stems from those diverse, quality boards and commissions, as well as other volunteer-driven civic organizations, is one key to Lewisburg's popularity with visitors and residents alike.

"Lewisburg has been fortunate in that the efforts it has made to create an attractive environment have paid off," Manchester said. "Visitors have seen a well-designed town, concentrating on walkability, cleanliness and downtown beautification. Many of those visitors have been impressed enough to sink down roots and become business and property owners, bringing new life into our community.

"Lewisburg has an interest in being attractive to new entrepreneurs, so that when one shop closes, another person with a great idea takes (over) the space."

Another advantage that Lewisburg has over other West Virginia cities, Manchester noted, is the high percentage of businesses owned by women, something that is reflected in the vitality of Lewisburg's merchants association.

"Much of the leadership in the Downtown Merchants Association is female business-owner driven," Manchester said.

And while people may assume that the city initiated and coordinates all of Lewisburg's many special events and festivals, nothing could be further from the truth.

"Many of the ideas for fairs and festivals have come from downtown entrepreneurs," Manchester said. "The city's role has been to participate and support and encourage people with good ideas and to approach problem-solving by saying, 'Why not give it a chance?' rather than saying, 'Don't do it.'"

One example of a merchant-initiated endeavor is Lewisburg's First Fridays after Five, which the mayor identified as the city's "signature event." He explained that Harmony Ridge Gallery owners Aaron and Monica Maxwell encountered a similar event in their travels and brought the idea home.

First Fridays provides a showcase for downtown businesses with a monthly event in which shops, galleries and restaurants remain open until at least 8 p.m., offering free entertainment and refreshments, along with special sales and services.

"It's been amazingly successful," Manchester remarked.

Another volunteer-driven event that takes place in downtown Lewisburg is the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, recognized as the largest such event in the state. The city's cooperation with the endeavor includes blocking off traffic from sections of Court and Washington streets to accommodate more than 100 event participants who march from the courthouse to Lewisburg United Methodist Church, where a luncheon and program are held.

That such an event has grown in popularity in a town where more than 90 percent of the population is white is not surprising to the mayor.

"Celebrating the diversity in the community is important to our current health and our long-term health," he said, acknowledging, "Sometimes the road has been bumpy."

He pointed to the Greenbrier Historical Society's current exhibit in the lobby of City Hall as an illustration of just how "bumpy" that road has been.

"The civil rights display shows how hard a struggle it has been for many people to realize their dreams," Manchester said. "We've been fortunate to have strong leadership from all sectors in our community and to tap the understanding, intelligence and goodwill of so many people over the years."

He gave special mention to the efforts of longtime City Council member Beverly White in bringing the people of Lewisburg together.

"I've had the pleasure of serving with her all the years I've been mayor," Manchester said. "She's brought a level of compassion, goodwill and understanding to our city council and our community that is unprecedented. She has helped . . . bridge the gap of the diverse populations of Lewisburg. She has been a wonderful role model for our youth because of her work ethic and because of her willingness to address difficult issues."

And what does the future hold?

Tourism will continue to be a major economic engine in Lewisburg, Manchester predicted.

"I think tourism still has room for growth in this area," he said. "I'm impressed with our merchants trying to stay at the top of their game — with what is trendy. And our cultural arts community attracts people who visit and those who live here."

The Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau extends the reach of the town's marketing, he said.

Another boost to tourism and the general livability of the Lewisburg area has come from Greenbrier Valley Airport's switch to SkyWest, with its alliance with United Airlines.

"United flights to Washington, D.C., and Chicago have been a wonderful addition; easy access to those major markets puts us on the map," said Manchester, who was initially skeptical of the airport's decision to change airlines.

Other positive developments for the town include plans by international hotelier Hilton to begin construction this spring on a long-anticipated Homewood Suites hotel in the Gateway Commons commercial cluster at Lewisburg's northern entrance. In addition, Manchester touted the impending transformation of a mixed-use strip of nondescript buildings on south Court Street into a chic shopping and dining plaza through what is being called "The Stratton Alley Project."

Proposals for that latter development led city council to recently close Stratton Alley, a narrow access way that once stretched from Foster Street to Washington Street, with a dogleg running behind City Hall over to Court Street. Developers plan to use the space once occupied by the alleyway as a plaza that will afford commercial tenants the potential for outdoor dining and more, nestled between the five remodeled buildings and City National Bank's tree-screened drive-through.

Manchester said potential tenants could include a restaurant, a brew pub and retail establishments.

"Developers are taking an underperforming large space, gutting it and preparing it for build-out," Manchester said. "It's a major project. It's wonderful to have people with new ideas willing to invest in our city."

It would be difficult, however, for even an optimistic mayor like John Manchester to paint a rosy picture about the anticipated closing of ABB's Lewisburg manufacturing facility.

The company announced the impending plant closure in October, a move that will cost Greenbrier County 130 well-paid jobs, likely sometime around the end of this year.

"The focus now is to bring in a company that can utilize that wonderful space," Manchester said, noting the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC) — which serves as the county's development authority — is spearheading the drive to find a suitable replacement for the departing ABB.

GVEDC executive director Andrew Hagy told The Register-Herald that ABB's corporate real estate office has begun marketing the 26-acre property, with an asking price of $1.85 million. The building on the property contains 95,000 square feet of space, with a maximum ceiling height of 16 feet.

"It's an attractive property; the building is nice and there's plenty of land," Hagy said. "I've been told there is some interest in the property already, and we've offered to assist in any way we can."

GVEDC has also been working to identify employment options for ABB employees who don't want to leave the local area. The company is relocating its analytical manufacturing operations to factories in Oklahoma and Canada. Current Lewisburg plant employees will presumably be able to apply for the 102 job openings that are being created at those facilities.

"My goal is that by the time they are moving out, we'll have someone moving in," Hagy said.

The conversation with Hagy took place at the site where another local manufacturing facility — the West Virginia Great Barrel Company's cooperage — is now under construction.

Although the cooperage is located in the Harts Run area of White Sulphur Springs, not in Lewisburg, Manchester is encouraged by this and other recent developments countywide.

"Any time you can have a major new industry in the region, it certainly benefits the whole area," he said, noting, "Wood products are underutilized in West Virginia."

Other bright spots in Greenbrier County include extensions of public water in the Sam Black Church area and — in another example of the impact of industry on local quality of life — in the vicinity of the Great Barrel Company's cooperage, where not only the manufacturing facility but also 50 homes in the surrounding area, along with the Greenbrier State Forest, will receive public water for the first time.

Lewisburg is also on the cusp of a major renovation of its aging regional water plant, listed in the mayor's annual report as one of the two main challenges (the other being the relocation of Fire Station No. 1) facing the city in the coming year.

"We live in a wonderful community, one that is the envy of many others in the state and around the country," Manchester summed up in that report, issued on Feb. 19. "Fine communities do not happen by chance; they happen because a wide variety of people work hard to make it that way. Among these community builders are merchants, arts organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, our churches, property owners who take pride in their properties, and people of all sorts who help out in so many ways — our numerous volunteers. I thank you for the good work that you do."

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