One event and four thoughts

That was a very interesting Saturday morning – and a very pleasant one. Some weeks ago a work colleague sent an invitation for an event. It was one of these rural, charity, fashion show, home baked killer-cakes, community centre happenings. A fashion show organised by Quills on behalf of the Suffolk Family Carers. Of course I was in!

Oh My! So many impressions; I don’t know where to start. It wouldn’t make sense to just describe the event. I guess they are very similar all over the world: a more or less affordable venue, a charity benefiting from the entry fee, the sale of coffee and home made cakes, and a percentage of the income of the market stalls, and some very enthusiastic people organising it all. This one was wrapped around a fashion show and clothes sale, plus a few stalls selling hand made scarves, handbags from China and make-up. And of course: There is always a raffle.

The above would be a very brief story; some might sniff at happenings like those while others just love them. Recently I have been attending other sales oriented occasions on a much higher spending level and what strikes me are the patterns that I can see on how these women network, how different they are, how similar their objectives, and how similar their approached to make things work. Although the target groups are different, the aims and the ways women go about their businesses are very similar – and very different to how a male would go about it. These are the things I am really interested in.

Well, and thus I decided to elaborate a bit on my thoughts and to make it a mini series of articles, adding one every week.

The first one is on ‘The Typecast Trap’ - The implications on how we see ourselves and how we are seen by others.

The second one is on 'Brilliant Business Women' - Making it big or not to make it big: That's the question!

The third one is on 'Nerds VS. Dilettantes' - Making a difference with networking.

... and the last one is on 'Internet and Branding' - Bring your message out there and have the edge.

The Importance of Internet & Branding

Although owner of small businesses and women in particular seem to be starting to acknowledge that the Internet has its good bits too many of them doesn’t seem to have grasped the full extend of opportunities yet. For example Artichoke Collection are running their business for several years now and still don’t have a web site. Well, so far their networking skills seem to have filled their books, but with credit crunch upon us every measure to bring the message out there may be needed… And if they would have one I would have linked them in here and you would be able to find them.

I am looking for tailors and designers to help create out IL shirts for Race for Life. There are only very few in the online yellow pages, and all one gets is an address and a single line – if at all. If there were one with a decent website: Of course I would check them out. As soon as a customer believes to know something about a business, trust is established and this business has the benefit of the doubt. It is just a matter of getting the brand right.

I however can imagine why small businesses rarely get around creating a website. One might be experienced in landscaping or knowledgeable in what colour is ‘IN’, but we usually are not branding experts. People actually study these things at University since it is a very important aspect of a business. On starting a business however, there are other pressing problems to be solved and the brilliant initial branding idea might wash out or doesn’t really work, be it that it was not well designed or that the business took a different turn.

When somebody told me that IL is a ‘pink’ site I was really shocked. That was exactly what I wanted to avoid when I planned it. IL is teal, sea green, a spa, a place to relax and to dream. Apparently something had gone wrong and the brand had slipped. Fortunately I can fix that myself.

However, hiring somebody to build an entire site cost a lot of money; one has to trust the designer and the provider. The package has to be the right size and structure for the best price and the design has to address the target audience in order to be sustainable. One needs to put in quite a bit of money and time to get the development of a website right.

So a sand box would be nice for the inexperienced, a playground to try things out, a place for market research and feedback. This way prepared it would be much easier to go out there and negotiate a deal with the professionals.

Here Incredible Ladies comes in. We are already providing such a playground for a few businesses. I took some pictures, collected some material and created a first little site for them. Whether it is a boutique here in Ipswich or in Fuerteventura, location doesn’t matter with the internet. If I am not taking pictures, somebody else can. If I am not writing the text, somebody else can. All it needs is an email account to send the material off.

So far this has been a non-commercial enterprise. On promoting their own sites these businesses automatically lead people to Incredible Ladies, so everybody wins. In the future we could think of deals like one year free space and advice and after that a small fee in order to make IL more sustainable and to create a bit of cash flow for our charity activities – or we wrap it all together, you take the material and do the hop into the professional design world. But now prepared and a having a sample from which you can work.

See, how the internet brings things together? It doesn’t have to be this scary thing that nobody really understands. The truth just is: These days nothing goes without the internet and who uses it will have the edge.

Back to Top

Articles on Lifestyle

Haldi KumKum

Live & Let Live
Why: "How 2 Kitchen"

Money, Money, ...

Motivation & Fun
Who's listening?
Eureka Moments
Inspiration vs. Motivation
The real Teese
Tummy & Co
Nine Words
Cycle of Life - Some Thoughts
Internet and Branding
Brilliant Business Women
The Typecast Trap
Garden without Fuss
Mills & Boon
About Veg
Pushing the Limits
About Criticism
Forum on RFOS
Bringing it together
...Bringing it together-Part 2

Time Management
Relationships: Cliché!?
Incredible List of Rules

The Invention of Lying

Nerds VS. Dilettantes
Knitting 21st Century Style
A Network Is A Home
Serious Game
Networking Strategy

Milsoms - Kesgrave Hall
Court Restaurant London

Techie Stuff
IL and the Internet


To Sumatra as Eco Tourist

Bad Nenndorf
Two Gals no Men: Wellbeing

A Posh Day Out!
A Market Day Out!

Fuerteventura 2009
Travel Diary
Travel Read

Fuerteventura 2008
Fuerte - The Island
Fuerte - Dirary & Club Life
Fuerte - Shopping
Fuerte - Jet Ski
Fuerte - What else?

Tuebingen 2008
A Day out in Town
The Gallery

Natural History Museum
What I Pack
Lowestoft Airfestival

Back to Top
Copyright 2007
Author: Rika