Taking on the complex issues that confront business owners
This year’s Women Business Owners Network Vermont fall conference covered an array of important topics that speak to the excitement and complexities of making your way as a woman in business in Vermont.
The group gathered last Wednesday at Hotel Vermont in downtown Burlington. Janice Shade, co-founder of Milk Money, welcomed the group with an inspiring presentation about pushing the envelope of entrepreneurship – making business a positive force for local change.
Shade has helped build Milk Money into a unique crowdfunding platform that connects local investors with Vermont companies. The platform bolsters economic resiliency by democratizing access to capital and keeping investment money in the state.
We are really grateful to work with such an impactful client.
I was asked to participate in a roundtable discussion about technology. Other roundtable topics included politics, economy, social/cultural, legal, and environmental – a full 360-degree view of the issues that affect businesses. The conversations were meaningful and a great catalyst for professional development. The knowledge-sharing and energy were really impressive.
Our focus was using technology to gain a competitive business edge. It was a highly collaborative discussion, and it was great to hear a variety of informed perspectives on the topic.
I shared a document that outlines many of the technology resources we use at Breezy Hill Marketing for ourselves and our clients, including:
- MailChimp – For professional level email marketing (free if you have fewer than 2,000 contacts).
- Canva – For template-based graphic design that is ideal for social media posting.
- Buffer – For managing and automating your social media posting schedule.
- Weebly, Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace – Template-based web design and hosting platforms.
- LastPass – For securely storing your various application passwords.
We also discussed strategic approaches to implementing new management systems within an organization and the value of these systems. The systems we have implemented at Breezy Hill include:
- Asana – An effective management tool for tracking tasks related to ongoing projects.
- Slack – A team-based messaging app that connects everybody within an organization. We have found it very helpful, and it’s gaining popularity.
- Basecamp – For sharing files and discussing projects among internal and external teams.
- Dialpad – A web-based phone system for virtual teams of people who may or may not be in the same physical office.
- Harvest – A user-friendly system for recording employee hours and sending invoices to clients.
A few key themes emerged from our discussion. One was the importance of websites and email marketing lists in light of social media’s evolution toward requiring paid advertisements to truly reach your followers.
We also talked about helpful automation tools, like Buffer, that allow you to automate some of your marketing tasks.
The Women Business Owners Network is growing and tuned into the political and economic landscape in Vermont. The group is looking ahead to the impact of potential changes to tax policy, healthcare, the minimum wage, child care and other complex issues that affect business owners so that it can help its members adjust.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.