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|Pay It Forward - A message from our President|
Janet LaBerge, Dirty Deeds
It is with a bit of sadness that I write this last Pay It Forward column as your President. I have enjoyed serving as your leader over the past two years and would like to use this opportunity to share with you my final reflections. I will admit that being President is a large commitment of time and energy. I have always had a great deal of energy, but I am looking forward to having a little more time to grow Dirty Deeds.
During any Presidential term of office, it is customary for the outgoing President to list off their accomplishments. I am grateful for having a full two years to put some ideas into action, because it does take time, when working with committees, for an idea to gain traction.
I am proud that we were able to move our offices to new space that netted a substantial savings.
I am proud that we reorganized our staff to utilize Katie's talents more fully and to grow our Network more effectively. This was not an easy task, and I am grateful that long time member of our staff, Deb Anders, whom we had rehired to help us grow, supported our proposed staff changes as making the most sense for the Network. True to her love of SSWBN, Deb participated with inordinate graciousness during those discussions, even though it meant eliminating her position. I thank her for all that she did for us.
As a result of the reorganization, we hired Michelle Lathrop to handle administrative duties. Michelle is now starting her second year with us and has proven to be an important part of our growth.
I am proud that we have expanded our luncheon options,from only the Granite Grill to include three new locations, which allows us to serve our members better.
I am proud that we changed our breakfast location to Linden Ponds, which provided increased cost savings to our budget and allows our members to network in a location where they can potentially do business. Again, this was not an easy change because we had been at the Holiday Inn location for at least 15 years. This Network is rife with loyalty, but we make changes when the changes make sense.
I am proud that we spearheaded two FUNdraisers, the Pet Calendar and the Caribbean vacation, which allowed us to not only balance our budget, but to get enough money to upgrade our computer equipment in the office.
I am proud that my friend and member Bonnie Spence personally accepted my Pay It Forward challenge by donating the use of their boats last year and this for our Cruise Night. This again allows us to have a fun networking activity while raising funds for the Network.
I am proud that the founders of our network and those on the Board of Directors agreed to have our Twentieth Year celebration focus on giving back to the community that has supported all of our businesses. We paid it forward to Friends of Mel, DOVE, South Shore Hospital's INICU unit and South Shore Elders.
I am proud that we were able to organize an additional big event last year, our Gala, and to have had a speaker as funny and kind as Susan Wornick.
By far, I am most proud of you, our members. I am not your usual business person and have appreciated your love, acceptance and laughter at my jokes. All our members bring different skills to this Network, but I have loved meeting so many exceptionally bright, kind, interesting and funny men and women. I have led this Network with an open heart and open arms. I don't think I can adequately express how you have all made me feel by responding with your own open hearts and arms.
Being your President has been the highlight of my career. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Happy to lead with fun and humility,
Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap
Email Janet: Dirtydeedsddc04@hotmail.com
Pay It Forward Tip for May:
Pay it Forward to SSWBN this month by bringing a potential new member to our Celebration! in June. I promise there will be some fun surprises and a show not to be missed.
|Executive Director's Column|
Dear Members and Colleagues:
I love this time of year! Beautiful flowers, great weather to be outside and my favorite SSWBN event of the year: Celebration! This special event takes place on June 28th and I hope you will join us for an evening of SSWBN's own special brand of celebration.
Come celebrate you! with your professional accomplishments, your personal growth and the connections you've made.
Come celebrate leadership! as SSWBN welcomes in its new Board of Directors and awards those who have made exemplary contributions to the Network.
Come celebrate new beginnings! with the Massachusetts Educational Foundation awarding its 2012 scholarships to the courageous women expanding their opportunities through continuing education.
It's your Network - Come CELEBRATE!
As always we have sponsorship opportunities for all events. Contact me for details.
Let's do business with each other!
781-696-9901 * firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated to the success of our members through Contacts, Coaching and Collaboration - our mission.
Business Tip of the Month By Bernie Heine of Professional Business Coaches, Inc.
Spring is in the air and it's the time for business growth. The green shoots of economic recovery are everywhere, but are you ready to grow with them? Have you got ALL your systems and processes in place? Because without them you will not build sales and produce success.
Here Comes The Sun...
It is natural at this time of year that economic activity takes off. Every business needs to slough
off the long dark winter blues and spring clean every corner. A key to success and new growth is your 'operations manual.' This is where you say exactly what you do in total detail. Your business processes and systems harmonize the 5 functions of your business; marketing & sales, people, production, logistics and finance. Systemizing everything you do saves you time, energy and money. It creates consistency and
Business Spring Cleaning
Entrepreneurs that get into business via the franchise route know that the 'operations manual' is their business blueprint. It tells them how to do the daily business and is their most valuable asset. All non-franchise businesses need to write their own. Businesses that don't put their customers first come last. So a good place to start your spring cleaning is in the marketing and sales function. To know where you should start, you can download the PBC diagnostic tool, Business Effectiveness Evaluation - Short input form or give us a call.
Build Brand Loyalty
Are your marketing strategies and sales messages focused on the benefits your target customers are looking for? Are your prices right, your promotions consistent, your packaging appealing and do you have a system for assessing and adjusting your marketing so that it builds brand loyalty? Do you have consistent and effective sales scripts? When was the last time you did sales training and are your people up to date with your latest products and services? Is your sales training system fit for purpose?
The Right People Doing the Right Things
When your sales explode you may need to recruit more sales people. Do you have a system for recruitment that gets you the best recruits and treats them all with equity and fairness? How is your induction training? Does it communicate your vision and values effectively? Do you meet your customers' requirements first time, every time? While we all aim for perfection, it's how we respond with excellent customer service, when we fall short, that really counts. Every single customer interaction is another opportunity to do the right thing and build our brand loyalty. This demands detailed, professional, systemized customer service.
Colleagues Just Love Coming to Work
Your operations manual must include the latest version of each and every job description. These are backed up with clear and present work instructions. And above it all, is a document control system that keeps all our colleagues singing from the latest hymn sheet. Your role as business leader is to create anatmosphere in which people are hired, learn, thrive and are appraised equitably. How is your system for motivating colleagues working?
Cash is King
You know the prices of all your products and services but do you know the profit margins of each? Do you have the system in place to review costs and prices as and when things change? A successful enterprise is one where almost all business is done at full price and cash is always available. It is the lifeblood of every business.
Your accounting software is a discrete system within your business system. Does it give you feedback on all your KPIs (key performance indicators) in all 5 business functions?
Your personal ability to produce results is dependent upon your capacity to produce. So how is your work life balance? Without proper systems in place you can end up re-inventing the same wheels over and over again. Quality systems and tools will save you from 'searchlight' management, where you run between crises and lose sight of your strategic aims. Spring is a good time to review your personal approach to your business. Honestly answer these key questions;
- If I were taken out of the picture, would my business continue to grow?
- Does everyone understand their place in my organization, my business systems and processes?
- Is my Operations Manual a living document?
- Is our software compatible and supportive of what we do?
- Is my main task, the improvement of my business systems or am I doing 'searchlight management'?
A Business System That Works
Leading a business enterprise is a complex task. PBC can help in many ways. Start by putting this on your daily 'to do' list; download the PBC Operations Manual white paper. It will get you off to a good start or use it as a checklist for your current manual to ensure you don't miss any details.
Contact PBC if you have any questions on implementing a total systems approach to business growth. Let's make this spring the best one yet!
About the Law - Barry Gordon, GMO
IS THIS THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU TO BUY A HOME OR INVESTMENT PROPERTY?
There is an economist whose name is I. Will Flipacoin. You have heard him speak and you have read the articles he has written. He wants you to follow his thoughts about the reasons for buying real estate -- or not buying -- at this time. It is hard to know which to do.
The rates are low, the prices are right, the market has stabilized. Sellers are motivated, the market will go down more, the economy is tanking, people cannot afford to pay their rent ... do you want to be a landlord? And might you lose your employment?
Best of luck, if you listen to Mr. Flipacoin.
What should you do? First listen to your gut, and then have a serious family discussion. Next, look at your finances, your job stability, whose income will be relied upon if a job is lost. And then call your accountant and attorney.
Find a good real estate agent to help you look around and see if there is anything you want to buy. Consider location, schools, commuting distance, noise, maintenance, etc. Then make a choice.
Mr. Flipacoin has no skin (coin) in the game, so do not believe everything he writes or says.
I have been involved in thousands of closings in more than four decades of practice. There is little I have not seen.
Call me, Barry Gordon
I would like to start this month's column with a sincere thank you to Janet Laberge, for her leadership and for being a shining example of what being part of a network truly means. Her reign as our president has been one that will be remembered for years to come as she leaves us with a lasting impression of her 'pay it forward' approach to doing business. Thank you, Janet, for your dedication and commitment to the Network -- and, more importantly, for our friendship.
Rosemarie Lanchester of Everything You Wish For, would like to thank Gwen Morgan of The What If Workbook for her warm referral to the Activities Director of The Plymouth Council on Aging, who is planning a series of workshops to their community on eliminating pain, stress and becoming happier!
Stacy Mafera of Errands Etc shared the following thank yous:
- Thank you to Lindsay Rentz of Lindsay Rentz fitness for hiring EE to help with your social media woes!
- Thanks to Ms. Lois Wood of Lois Wood Graphic Design for hiring EE to help with the housework, as well as offering EE's social media assistance to your clients.
- Thank you to Kristen Ford Hernandez of Premiere Pros for hiring EE to help with running errands and doing laundry!
- And last but not least, thank you Rosemarie Lanchester of Everything You Wish For for hiring EE to help with Social Media- best of luck with the fan page!
Janet Laberge of Dirty Deeds would like to thank Becky Coletta of Coletta Law Offices, for hiring Dirty Deeds to move their offices from Hanover to their beautiful new building in Hanson. Dirty Deeds was also honored to be invited to cut the ribbon at Teresa Tavares and Tina's Inspiring Windows grand opening. Thank you to Laura Hoitt of the Quincy Career Center for referring a friend to Dirty Deeds for a basement/garage clean out. Thank you to Courtney Newcomb of Arrange Boston for referring Dirty Deeds for a job with a client of Sowing Seeds in Marshfield. Thank you to Ann Finnie of Footprints Holistic Healing Center for providing a wonderful reflexology treatment and for not commenting on my stinky feet. Thanks to fellow SSWBN members Paula Harris of WH Cornerstone, Katie Howard, Jane Ford of The Joy Path, Elizabeth Pineault of Pineault CPA (and husband Steve), Alison Charello Schirone (and husband Bob) of the new Yarn's End and Lois Wood of Lois Wood Graphic Design for attending the Speak for Thyself award ceremony. Thanks to Lois Wood for designing a rocking cool new logo for Dirty Deeds and for providing a referral for a part time worker. Thanks to Mal from the Mary Lou's News at Hanover Four Corners (the original Mary Lou's) for wearing a Dirty Deeds shirt to help to promote my business. Lastly, thanks to Barbara Case of Moors Cabotfor allowing Dirty Deeds to clean out her mother's apartment and donate the items to a very needy older gentleman.
Nadine Pfautz of C.H.A.R.T. Consulting gets a warm thank you from Patty Funder of LaserLight for Men and Women, for taking the time to provide some insight into the various models of working another individual into your business. "We are ready to grow, and I have been wanting to tap into Nadine's expertise for a long time about this," said Patty.
"As Managing Editor for the SSWBN newsletter, I would like to add my thanks to that of Kristen Ford-Hernandez's -- with some measure of sadness -- to have had the high privilege of reviewing (and sometimes making small changes to) the columns that our President, Janet LaBerge provided every month," said Patty Funder. "No moment is ever dull with Janet, and the extraordinary thought, warmth and talent she put into each column, month after month, makes me a little sad that this is the last one. Good luck, my Friend, in finding a new outlet for your humor and your unique brand of philosophy -- you must keep on joking and writing!"
And a very big thank-you to Stacey Mafera of Errands Etcetera for taking some of the burden off my shoulders and allowing me to focus more on Premiere Pros. In two hours, she went to the bank, garage, then to the post office and folded some laundry for me! It was such a relief to check those things off my list that I hadn't had time for. Thank you so much Stacey ~ I will certainly be calling you again soon!
Looking forward to seeing you all soon and hearing more about the connections being made!
"Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching around for what it gets." -- Henry Ford
|Above and Beyond|
Welcome to this month's Above and Beyond. Spring is a universal season of renewal - so it's appropriate that many of our members' achievements share the themes of growth and new beginnings this month.
Congratulations to The Friends of Mel, who recently received a matching grant of $45,000 as a result of their participation in the national Pink Well Challenge! The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation had selected FOM as one of only 30 cancer support organizations throughout the country, to raise funds over a period of several months. If they met their goal, the Smith Foundation would award a matching grant. "I'm very grateful for that grant," said Executive Director Pauline Alighieri. "The money is going to be used to train rehabilitation therapists to meet the specific needs of cancer patients after treatment, for example, a woman who has had a mastectomy." The video that FOM had used in the competition will be available on YouTube soon.
Congratulations to The Massachusetts Educational Foundation for growing their Board of Directors, with two new attorneys. The Massachusetts Educational Foundation is truly soaring above and beyond with the help of their board members, Friends of the Foundation and many generous donors!
Lori Cook announced that Bryantville Deli won Best Salad AND Best Entree at the 11th Annual Taste of Pembroke. We add another hearty helping of congratulations to her plate, for joining the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors!
New SSWBN member Maggie Demont of Koko Fit Club opened her new, automated personal training studio in Marshfield with a fun and interesting Open House. Welcome to the Network, Maggie!
Congratulations to two of our members who have received notable community awards! The Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine honored Phyllis Wenzel of Image Resolutions as a 2012 Difference Maker. This award celebrates individuals who are positively impacting the South Shore and Plymouth area business communities.
The Alden Kindred of America organization honored SSWBN President Janet Laberge of Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap with a Speak for Thyself Award. This award recognizes exceptional women in our community who, in the spirit of Priscilla Mullins, make their own choices. We add our congratulations to Janet, as well, who recently added two large vans and a pickup with trailer to the Dirty Deeds fleet!
We join Stacy Mafera of Errands Etc. in shouting out a big CONGRATULATIONS to Lois Wood of Lois Wood Graphic Design on reaching on The Big 2-0 (20 years in business)!
We are so proud of our own Katie Howard, one of this year's Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine's 40 under 40 stars. The award honors distinguished businesspeople under the age of 40 who have made a mark in our region at a young age. She is such a well-deserved winner!
SSWBN members are setting the pace and leading the way! This is the column where you can find great news about our members every month. If you have a success story to share, just email me at mailto:email@example.com anytime and mention SSWBN or Above and Beyond in the subject line.
|Each month the SSWBN Membership Team recognizes a member who exemplifies the qualities of a Networking Nova, a person who embodies the Network's core values of coaching, contacts and collaboration; someone who is visible at many SSWBN events and who treats others with respect and dignity. In addition, this person utilizes the Network to build his/her business and helps others do the
Tracy Remillard, Cohasset Harbor Resort
I have been with the SSWBN since October 2011. I very much enjoy attending the breakfasts and getting to know the other women at the Network.
I utilize SSWBN connections and support the businesses whenever possible. For example, at a recent Bridal Open House, I invited Loraine Fields from The Flower Mill in Weymouth to showcase her lovely floral arrangements. I contracted with Maureen Elliot from Camelot Enterprises to supply our new retail store with logoed clothing and accessories. And of course, I love visiting The Front Street Gourmet!
The SSWBN has provided me the opportunity to remind people that our business is still here in Cohasset, and to keep people informed of all of our exciting new developments. It has given me the ability to work with other women and their businesses.
I have enjoyed getting to know the women here at the Network: they are amazing, and everybody brings something new to the table to help you run a better business!
I would love to take this opportunity to let everyone know that we have just completed some really fantastic renovations at the Cohasset Harbor Inn. We spent the winter months revitalizing the lobby, opening a small retail shop, upgrading guest rooms, and redecorating suites. And on June 16th we will open Brisa - a seasonal outdoor Tapas and Wine Restaurant located directly on the Harbor!
I am looking forward to seeing everyone here at Celebration!
|Massachusetts Educational Foundation, Inc. |
It's scholarship time at The Massachusetts Educational Foundation! All of the fund-raising efforts that we have undertaken throughout the year now come into play as we prepare to award scholarships to deserving women who have proven themselves to be smart, resourceful and focused on their careers.
The Board of Directors has reviewed each and every scholarship application submitted. All applicants were carefully considered and several were invited to personal interviews. Now that all of the steps have been completed, the scholarships are ready to be awarded at Celebration! on Thursday, June 28rd! Plan to join us for an evening of new beginnings at Celebration! Scheduled to take place at the Cohasset Harbor Inn from 6:00 to 9:30pm. The 2012 Massachusetts Educational Foundation Scholarships will be awarded, and I hope you are there to hear some amazing stories and meet these incredible women.
Our Red Sox ticket raffle is in full swing. Four (4) box seats for the July 19th game against the Chicago White Sox, plus $150 spending cash and a one-night hotel stay can be yours if you hold the winning ticket. Don't miss a chance to visit Fenway Park while it celebrates its 100th Anniversary! If you would like raffle tickets for yourself or your friends, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Drawing will take place on July 10th.
For more information on The Massachusetts Educational Foundation please read about us on the web at http//www.massedfund.org and "like" us on Facebook.
Board of Director
Image Resolutions, Norwell
The Massachusetts Educational Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of women over 35, enabling them to transition to a more rewarding career, by providing scholarships for education. Donations are tax deductible to the extent of IRS regulations.
Name: Christy Kendrick
Position/title: Sales & Marketing Representative
Name of business: ACME Auto Glass
Location of business: Three store locations: Hyannis, Plymouth and Walpole.
ACME GLASS provides mobile service dispatched all over Southeastern Massachusetts including Cape Cod. We service north to Quincy and Boston, west to Taunton, Raynham, out to Wayland, Sudbury and beyond, south to Sagamore and Bourne bridges and all over the Cape down to Provincetown!
How did you come to be in this line of work?
In 2007, I had been working for a uniform company for 12-plus years and needed a change. At a birthday brunch with three girlfriends, I asked them to please keep their ears open for an employment opportunity for me -- knowing that we all had different contact spheres -- and hoped that something would turn up. A month later, the husband of one of the women, the owner of ACME GLASS, called me and offered me this job. And here I am.
What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?
- The owner is a regular guy who cares about, and allows us to cater to, our customers.
- We are fortunate to have long-term employees: some have been with ACME for 18-plus years!! and
- We make sure that our staff has the proper knowledge and experience to do the job correctly and to ensure customer satisfaction.
Describe your dream/perfect/best customer.
Our dream customer is one who understands how repair work can develop into more a time-consuming procedure than anticipated, and who understands that if it is raining outside, we will have to re-schedule unless they have a garage in which we can work. Another dream customer is one who has a fleet of vehicles and wants to sign a contract!
Our perfect customer is a satisfied customer who tells all of her/his family and friends about the great service they got from ACME GLASS. Our best customer is a repeat customer.
And our favorite customer is YOU!
What is the most important message you have to communicate about your industry?
Most car owners carry insurance for glass replacement. The most essential information I need to communicate is that you, the owner, have the right to choose who performs the work on your vehicle regardless of who is recommended by your insurance representative. There are differences in the quality of auto glass installation -- quickest is not always best. You need to shop local and support local business owners, know the folks who work on your vehicle, feel safe and confident that you can ask questions and receive satisfaction. We guarantee our work.
What do you regard as your greatest achievement in business to date?
Mike McCloskey, owner of ACME GLASS, feels his greatest achievement is his re-incorporation of ACME in 1990 as the third generation owner.
My greatest achievement in this business has been proving to myself and to my employer that networking and forming relationships with others in business helps to build each other's businesses. Strategic partnerships are unlimited. Whatever business you are doing, if the provider succeeds in servicing you well, why not promote his/her business? That testimonial will come back to you in many ways.
Where do you want you and your business to be in five years?
We want to be not just surviving, but thriving and continuing to provide employment for the passionate staff of ACME GLASS.
What benefit(s) have you received through your networking efforts?
I have met lots of wonderful, interesting people and found that paying attention, being a good listener and asking a few questions will take you on a marvelous journey, making many great friends and doing some business along the way. I like to say it's the pebble in the pond ... the ripples keep touching someone.
What is/are your one or two toughest challenges?
My toughest challenges are time management and filling the gas tank. It is difficult with the large territory I cover to schedule account visits, new account contacts and networking, and still find time to manage email, social marketing, other communications -- and have a little home life, too. I am still trying to perfect that.
As to the filling of the gas tank:
lately that just hurts! But you gotta have it!!
What motivates you on a day-to-day basis?
I am driven to do my best. "Making the best better" is the 4H motto that I grew up with ... sometimes hard to do ... but it sure is something to work at. After five years of networking, I am in a great place to refer and recommend others and that is a HUGE motivator for me.
What is something that members may be surprised to learn about you?
My husband and I were full time antique dealers for many years, worked with historical societies and museums. We even loaned a major piece to a three-year long traveling Smithsonian exhibition. Also, I am very involved with nutrition, eating raw food (i.e. not cooked), mostly vegetarian and growing organic food, all of which has helped me control my weight and improve my health.
What do you do in your spare time for fun?
I garden, hunt antiques, make my own crackers and granola in my dehydrator, hike with my husband and dog ... and I read!