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Between 1997 and 2017, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 114%, a rate 2.5 times higher than the national average.

–State of Women-Owned Business Report, American Express

Today, women influence about 80% of buying decisions and control $20 trillion of consumer spending, yet globally women hold only 24% of C-level roles. Both of these numbers are growing every year, and the Crowned team couldn’t be happier about that fact. Women own 4 out of every 10 businesses in the U.S, and Crowned is one of those businesses, founded by Francesca Coronado. 

Here at Crowned, women’s entrepreneurship is close to our hearts as a female-founded and operated business. While female-founded businesses only account for 4.6% of all firms as of 2018, the rate at which women are starting businesses has increased by 58 percent since 2007. 

In 2018, $38.9 billion was invested in companies with a female founder, representing 17% of venture dollars funded globally. This is nearly double the amount from 2017, which saw $19.8 billion invested into companies with a female founder. 

This trend is bound to continue with more women, especially women of color, starting businesses at a continuously growing rate. Female entrepreneurs are a diverse, and happy bunch.  Businesses owned by women of color grew by 163% between 2007 and 2018.

This Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we want to highlight the importance of supporting women-owned businesses by sharing some of our own personal favorites. 

Francesca’s favorite

Lume Deodorant (pronounced loo-mee) is a product I absolutely love. Not only is it a natural deodorant that actually works, but it was also developed by Shannon Klingman MD, an OB/GYN, who got tired of status-quo deodorants on the market. As an OB/GYN, Dr. Klingman was interested to find out the root cause of body odor, not only in our pits but also on our most sensitive “lady parts.” After seeing far too many diagnoses’ of bacterial vaginosis in women, who were then prescribed antibiotics that didn’t clear up the issue, Dr. Klingman went to work to study why odor happens and how to stop it before it starts. You could call Lume a “pre-odorant” rather than a de-odorant really! 

Her brand is now one of the top deodorant brands on the market, with an ever-growing subscription-based following. Her products are well-loved by women and men alike in her quest to end stinkiness. 

Dr. Shannon Klingman

  “I SAW HOW BODY ODOR—WHATEVER THE SOURCE—WAS UNDERMINING THE CONFIDENCE AND SELF-WORTH OF WOMEN AND MEN EVERYWHERE.” – Shannon Klingman MD

Kathleen’s Inspiration

Lorna Jane Clarkson is my choice.  She’s the owner of Lorna Jane Active and inspires women to be fearless! She inspires me because she empowers women to be confident in who they are and that being who you are meant to be doesn’t have to look like anyone else. Her motto is: Move, Nourish and Believe – Moving every day, Nourishing from the inside out and Believing that anything is possible. She started her business when she was a fitness instructor in 1989, making custom workout wear for her students. This quickly and unexpectedly turned into one of the first activewear empires. We can thank Lorna Jane Clarkson for popularizing fashionable athletic wear that millions of women love enough to wear outside the gym! In fact, Lorna Jane coined the term “activewear,” and has spent the last 30 years keeping her finger on the pulse of not only her customer needs but also the “needs of society as a whole” to work towards making activewear a staple of every woman’s wardrobe. 

Betty’s Inspiration

I’m always on the lookout for female-founded brands (Glossier, AWAY, Heist, Schmidt’s Deodorant), and am perpetually inspired by female entrepreneurs. I grew up watching the rise of powerful women like Oprah and Martha Stewart, and I’m always excited to hear about female-founded companies (and am elated to work for one!) 

Women have faced staggering hurdles to get to where we are today, and it’s important to me to remember the women who blazed the trail. Madam C. J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove), the daughter of freed slaves, was an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. Walker was the wealthiest African-American businesswoman and the wealthiest self-made woman in America at the time of her death in 1919, with a net worth of over $1 million. She overcame some pretty insane odds, starting her business in her late 30s after questioning her physical ability to do hard labor washing laundry into her golden years. Her success is largely attributed to her marketing savvy and the ability to set the tone for the fledgling African-American women’s beauty sector. She was one of the first modern Lady Bosses! 

Written by: Betty Bair

Streamline Blog Title

Processes, procedures, strategies.  What do these three systems have in common, and why would I want to refer to them when running my business?

By implementing these types of systems, your productivity and organization will skyrocket!

Here is a good example:

What are the first things you need to know when starting your workday?

You need to know what is on the agenda and where you should start.

  • Do you have meetings or calls to make?
  • Does your team have project deadlines?
  • Is your inbox full of emails just waiting for you?
  • Do you know how or where to start?
  • What about the back-end?  Do you have procedures in place?

With the correct system in place, these questions can be easily answered. You will automatically know which projects take priority each day, how much time needs to be spent on each one, and how to handle each project. You won’t feel overwhelmed or stressed out when you look at your agenda. Instead, you will know just where to begin going through the work on your desk.  With that in mind, Crowned has come up with a system of processes that will streamline your workflow in order to increase productivity.

Are you ready to implement this simple system and gain valuable time each day?

  1. Determine your PROCESSES

What exactly is a process? A process determines what actions or steps you will take to reach a particular goal. Once these processes are in place, it is key for you to focus on always doing them the same way. Eventually, you’ll get used to them, and they will become a part of your routine, keeping you on track each day.

In this system the processes are simple.

    • Create a daily to-do list: I like to do this just before I dive into my day in case projects or tasks have changed.  Also, you might want to make a list of tasks that still need to be completed before you leave work the day before. For more information about staying motivated when starting your day, check out my 5 Tips To Get You Motivated.
    • Set a schedule: I create office hours and stick to them! It’s very important to set boundaries for yourself and your clients. I also like to include lunchtime and a break during the day because I can easily get consumed with my work.
    • Stay on task: Try not to stray from your to-do list. I understand things can change within minutes, but going back to your list will help you stay focused and on task.
  1.   Establish PROCEDURES

Once you’ve determined all of your processes, you may feel that you’re set and ready to go. However, in my experience, having the correct processes in place is still not quite enough. You need to establish procedures or a set of rules that will help you to navigate your way through each process.   This will set a standard for you and your team and ensure that your processes run seamlessly.

    • Legal Compliance: This is the most important procedure for your business or organization. You need to make sure that you’re complying with your State and Federal laws. This can pertain to taxes, contractors, employees, client terms, contracts and much more.
    • Have a policy in place: Whether your business is big or small, you will need to make sure you have existing policies in place when working with clients, employees, or contractors. These policies can be in regards to vacation/holiday time, how your business handles personal information, how you handle your payments/invoicing etc.
    • Onboarding: Do you know what to do the minute you gain a new client or customer? If not, then this is something you should implement right away. Having specific procedures in place when a new customer, client or employee comes on board is essential. You don’t want to wait until they get there to come up with a plan!
  1. STRATEGIZE!

This can vary depending on your business needs. Ask yourself these questions:

    • What are your operational needs?
    • How do you interact with colleagues and clients?
    • Do you have a plan of action in place?

This is a simple plan that incorporates all of the essential items that are able to speed up your workflow and productivity, including such things as marketing, client work, and daily tasks.

As you have seen, you can streamline your workflow by making just a few important changes in your schedule. Before you know it, what once was a stressful daily routine can now be daily moments of satisfaction!

When you think of the most important things that affect your brand, the tone of what you write is most likely not the first thing that pops into your mind.  Mentioned more often are passion, consistency, exposure, and audience knowledge. But the tone, whether it is in a blog, on your website, or a post on Facebook, sets each of these things in motion, thus letting your target audience know where you stand.

What is meant by the tone, you may ask?  The tone is the mood or attitude shown in what you write.  If your product is a new video game, the tone should be exciting and fun.  You want your target audience to feel this in your writing. However, the tone used to write to a child about the video game will most likely be different than that used to write to an adult about the same game.

Of high importance is the tone used to make your brand stand out and be consistently recognized and respected by your readers.  Your brand is more than just your company logo. It includes such things as your company’s core values, your unique way of selling your products or services, and who your target customers are, as well as what they want.  Your brand must stay in your customers’ minds, and the tone in which you write must keep your customers satisfied with your company’s brand.


When determining what the tone should be in your written marketing content for your brand, the process should not be hurried through.  Many things need to be considered. Below are just a few:

  • The tone and the voice of the written information are different.  Both are important, but they are not the same thing.  As mentioned above, the tone is the mood or attitude of your writing, and the voice its personality.  Just as a person’s personality is consistent, the voice of your writing should be consistent. It doesn’t change from blog to social media, and your target audience should be able to see you in everything you write.  The tone, however, can change from such emotions as happy, sad, serious, or funny, depending upon what you are trying to say and to whom you are saying it.
  • Diction and syntax also play an important part in determining the tone of your marketing contents. Just like voice, diction and syntax are not the same as the tone. Diction, the words that a writer chooses, is a very important part of determining the tone.  If your brand is pertaining to fine jewelry, your diction should be classy and elegant. If instead, it is connected to barbecue sauce, your diction would have a more relaxed tone.
  • In addition, syntax, the structure of a sentence, changes how your writing comes across to those who read it.  Sentences can be long or short, choppy or smooth, thus changing the tone.  None of these is right or wrong. But it is a good idea to determine how your readers feel about your style.  Do they like your long flowing sentences or is it causing them to read fewer and fewer blogs? When a customer first reads what you have written, your choices can determine what they think of your brand. A well-written blog or website can and should keep them coming back!
  • The tone should connect with your target audience. The American Marketing Association says that the average consumer sees up to 10,000 brand messages a day but will only buy from a few of these brands. It is definitely very important what you write and how you write it.  The tone sets the stage for how consumers will feel about what they have read and whether it will catch their eye the first time in order to pique their interest. In addition, the tone of your content should not be unnecessarily complex when aimed at certain target audiences. Things to consider are their age, demographic, and in what way they will use what you are presenting to them.
  • Be consistent in the development and use of the writing tone.  Though this is true if there is only one person writing your marketing content, this is especially important in a large company with a large marketing group.  Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to determining and creating the tone of written material. A good way to do this is to prepare a Content Styling Guide for everyone who is writing marketing content. MailChimp has a great Content Styling Guide online that you can look at.  When it comes to being consistent, I love what I read in Ann Handley, “If your logo fell off, would you recognize you?”  More importantly, would your target audience recognize you?  If you aren’t consistent from article to post and from person to person, chances are that your target audience will be very confused about your brand.

Many other great tips and ideas can be found online and elsewhere that relate to tone and marketing. All are very important in putting together a document that will keep consumers coming back to read more and be drawn to your brand. Hopefully, the tips listed here have put you on the right track to improving your writing tone.

Copy of Cold Emails_ Blog Post.Remember the age-old marketing term ‘cold calling’? It was, or still is in some cases, a technique where you’d have a list of phone numbers and you would call them one-by-one, trying to sell an item or service. It was awful, tedious, and often times very obtrusive to the person at the other end of the phone.

When I first went into marketing, this is something I was taught to do. I hated it. And I never experienced any real growth from it either. While doing this, you may be able to convince one or two people out of the twenty to give in and buy your product or service, but that was very rare. Usually, these people would turn into one-time clients and after the initial contact, you would end up with nothing but crickets. This is how I view cold emailing, to me, it is the exact same concept. You’re sending an unsolicited email to someone that you’ve never met or had any contact with. Cold emailing is your chance at a first impression.

I wanted to write about cold emailing because I received two emails last week that were both very different from one another. Each description is below.

The first did their research. Then, they began to explain what they could do for my company, and even gave an example of the results I might see. It was short and to the point. It was not obtrusive at all, but merely a quick description explaining what they could do to fit my needs.

The second email did no research at all. They basically sent me a pitch telling me what they do, how good they are at it, and included a calendar link to make an appointment with them. That was annoying. I’m sure they found my email address on my website or LinkedIn page, which is fine, but after reading the email it felt very disingenuous and a waste of my time. Why would I want to schedule my own appointment with someone who may or may not be able to help me expand my business? Who is this person? Do they even know anything about me or what I do?

So if you must send out cold emails, please follow these principals first. That way you’ll refrain from sounding too ‘salesy’ and you’ll actually be providing something of value.

PRINCIPALS OF COLD EMAILING:

  • Do your research!!!– This is the most important, have some knowledge about the individual or company and use that to your advantage.
  • Personalize the email– Use your personal work email address. Speak to your reader by name, use some background information you may have found about the individual or company. Compliment them on some of their achievements. DON’T start the email with just a simple greeting. Be personable!
  • Offer something of value– How can you help them? What steps will you take to help them? How might you be a good fit? A freebie wouldn’t hurt either, especially if it pertains to what you’re offering.
  • Keep it short and simple– Busy professionals don’t have a lot of time to read through long emails. Try to keep it short and straight to the point. That way if someone just skims through the email, they’re still absorbing key points. Leave out photos, long signatures etc.
  • Break up your points- Breaking up your key points will help the reader to easily identify what you’re talking about.
  • Add a link or two- Make sure to add your website link so the reader can get further information if they’re interested.

Have you experienced any of these cold email disasters or victories? Would you like to add something to this list? I’d love to hear from you!

I get questions from clients regarding inbox management quite often. Below are a few examples of what I’ve come across.

“My inbox is overflowing, help!”

“How am I ever going to get through all of these emails?”

“What if I miss something important?”

Does this sound familiar? Are you struggling to keep up with the overflow of emails coming through 24/7? Are important emails going unanswered because you didn’t see them among all of the others? If so, I think I can provide some easy steps that will allow you to manage your inbox with ease. I’ve helped a lot of my clients get their emails organized while keeping their inboxes at a minimum level.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that this will happen overnight, and I’m not going to tell you that your inbox will be empty all the time either. But, what I will say is that you will feel confident to never miss another important email again, you will never have to spend time sorting through your inbox to find those missing emails, and you will always be aware what is coming in and what is being sent out. As long you follow these steps:

  • Prioritize: This is the first thing I ask my clients to do. I like to have at least 2 priority levels, highest (most urgent) and lowest. However, this is not static and can change depending on the number of emails you receive. I’ve had clients with priority levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. It’s all up to you!
  • Action items (optional): This is an optional step that I like to include for special circumstances. If you consistently receive a lot of calendar invitations or certain messages that are highly urgent. Having an action category with a bright colored labeled will be very beneficial. I like to leave these emails in the inbox so they won’t be missed.
  • Color code: I feel that this is such a simple, yet valuable way to organize not only emails but calendars as well. When your eye is drawn to a specific color, you’ll automatically see the importance. I like to have my clients create color-coded labels (or folders) to help identify the priority levels. For example: Green= lowest priority, orange= highest priority, red= action item.
  • Think- Read, Categorize, Respond, Archive or Delete: Try to get yourself into the habit of going through your inbox at the beginning of your work day. This entails sorting through your emails and categorizing each email with its priority level, then respond (if needed, depending on priority and time). Once finished, delete or archive. By doing this you will get rid of any junk emails that may be filtering through, and you will be able to respond to your most urgent messages in a timely manner.

Trust me, these steps may seem like a lot at first but once you get used to the process it’s extremely simple. In no time you will have successfully managed your inbox, you’ll find everything in its place, nice and organized.

Do you have anything you would like to add that may have helped you get organized?

Travel Plans? Where to start

 

travel-plans-where-to-start

Ahh, travel. To some people, this can be an exciting journey and to others, it can be a plain hassle. There are many factors to consider when travel is in your near future such as flights, transportation, scheduling, lodging, member benefits and more. Are you traveling for personal reasons or business? Do you need to keep track of your travel expenses? It’s no wonder receipts can get lost, points are missed or you end up spending much more than you anticipated. There is a lot to think about!

I don’t know about you, but something that I’ve noticed consistently that seems to determine a good travel experience for most of my clients is COMFORT. So here are some things I like to consider when planning a trip. This should help you stay organized, comfortable and on track for your next trip.

Flights- Get to the airport early! Delays, layovers, baggage (carry-on or checked), preferred airline, type of aircraft, seating, flex tickets (the ability to cancel) and cost. If you work for a company that has a specific travel protocol, make sure you’re booking within those guidelines.

Transportation-  To and from the airport, hotel pickup shuttles within the airport, rental cars, Uber, Lyft, cabs, and cost. There are many choices when it comes to transportation, knowing when and where you need to be will help to narrow down these choices. Convenience can factor in as well if you’re willing to pay a bit more.

Scheduling: Be on time! Departing and arriving according to your schedule (or event), traffic, weather, cancellations and rescheduling flights are all things to think about when you need to be somewhere at a specific time/day. Look at your dates closely, make sure you’re not traveling during a major event or holiday because this may hinder your travel plans.

Are you a rewards member? Do you want to redeem points or miles? Setting up member accounts to gain miles, points, and freebies is always a plus. You can sign up to join various airlines, hotels, rental car agencies, etc. You’ll end up using them more than you might think, just remember to include your member number every time you book!

Lodging: With all the choices these days such as Airbnb, HomeAway, mainstream hotels, and boutique hotels, how do you know which is best? I would consider cost, the length of stay and preference before making a decision.

Expenses: Use apps to help streamline your expenses! Apps are very helpful and make keeping track of these items much easier. You can take photos of your receipts with your phone instead of keeping paper copies. Email receipts and other confirmations to yourself, you’re likely receiving some of these through email anyway. Keeping them all in one folder may help the organization process.

Just a few extras:

  • When traveling internationally make sure your passport has not exceeded the expiration date. Also, check with the country you’re traveling too for any other documentation you may need.
  • Before a flight, I like to keep a water bottle and a small snack on me. Especially if I’m flying economy, you never know when you’ll get your next meal.
  • Carry a light jacket, airplanes can get chilly.
  • Keep a book or phone handy to help occupy your time. I keep one in my carry-on bag, so it’s accessible during my flight.
  • Always keep an eye out for checked baggage fees when necessary.
  • Weather! Check the weather at your destination prior to packing.

 

Can you think of anything to add to this list? What are some of your go-to travel tips?

collaboration-is-key-1

Why is collaboration so important? Collaboration is fundamental to creating a solid working relationship, it begins from the first point of contact with each of my clients.

When you choose to work with me, you’re bringing me on to streamline certain business obstacles. In order for me to successfully do that, I need to understand how I can best support you and your business. It is my job to create a plan of support that will fulfill your needs. While every client is different, it is important for me to have certain procedures set in place to maintain consistency and organization. And collaboration is the main component in each of them.

A brief outline of these procedures include:

  • Introductory call
  • Contracts/payments
  • A plan of support specifically catered to you
  • Project Management systems
  • Communication preferences
  • Determining weekly meetings
  • Weekly reports

This basic outline allows me to provide ongoing support for you and/or your team. I do not work on a task by task basis, instead, I partner with you, allowing you to focus on core operations. I want my clients to think long term. I want to be someone you can rely on in many aspects of your business without having to worry about maintaining tasks and checklists. That is why collaboration is the underlying reason my system works, it eliminates the need for that. We are in constant communication working together to achieve mutual objectives. your success is my success.

 

you-get-what-you-pay-for

Why do people tend to pay more for goods, services or support? Because of the value, they’re receiving in return. If an individual is hiring someone to work in the typical office environment they would be compensated according to their skill set and experience. So why should it be any different when hiring remotely?

In this remote industry, it can be difficult to determine what price is the right one. Knowing what you want out of your Administrative Consultant is the easy part. You want highly skilled, competent individuals to provide you and/or your team quality support. The only difference is your Administrative Consultant is not your employee and there is no resume to use as a reference. So, how do you find these individuals? There are social networks such as LinkedIn where experience is laid out in a profile and some may even have recommendations. If you ask, most Consultants don’t mind providing you with their background experience either. Websites are also a great way to get to know your Consultant. Things like support options, pricing, contact information and background experience should be included. Personally, I like to have a call with each potential client to find out if we’re a good fit. By speaking to my clients first, I’m able to learn more about them and decide if the support I provide will be beneficial. These calls usually consist of support needs, getting a little background on one another and how your consultant works on a day-to-day basis.

After you’ve finished the vetting process the next question is cost. What should an Administrative Consultant charge? When thinking of payment my advice is to consider these factors:

  • Their time is valuable– Most consultants have multiple clients, so they’re likely juggling many projects and tasks at one time.
  • Cost versus quality– I think this speaks for itself, but ultimately it’s up to you.
  • What type of support is needed?– Will you be needing daily interaction, single projects etc?
  • Skillset– Do you need support that includes an enhanced skill set such as content creation, graphic design, bookkeeping, marketing, or advanced administration skills?
  • Experience– This is a tricky one, you may feel fine working with someone who is just starting out. I’m mean, they have to start somewhere right? I would just make sure that the individual has some background experience in the type of support you’re needing. Of course, there are seasoned professionals with lots of experience, I have ten years and counting myself. So, the way I run my business may be different, it’s really about collaboration and finding someone who will bring value to you and your business.

Remember, when you decide to work with an Administrative Consultant do your research. Take the time to properly vet the individual and consider all the factors above. By doing that, I think you will have a better grasp of what makes sense for you. After all, you’re choosing to work with an Administrative Consultant because you need quality support. You’re leaving important aspects of your business in their hands. They should be compensated accordingly.

 

how-to-handle-mistakes

We all make mistakes, so how should we handle them? 

Does the circumstance matter? Should our clients be privy to every mistake that is made? In my experience, it’s best to take these 4 steps when you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation.

  1. Acknowledge it
  2. Learn from it
  3. Fix it
  4. Move on!

Acknowledging the mistake means taking responsibility for the error that was caused, plus this will prove your credibility. Depending on the size of the mistake, you should consider disclosing it to your client as well. I’m not talking about a little mistake you can easily fix. No client wants to be bothered with every little thing. I’m talking about something that can be detrimental to the workplace. It is essential that you bite the bullet and spill the beans no matter how hard it may be. You don’t want to be caught in a lie down the road if you never disclosed the mistake in the first place.

Learning from your mistake. Now, this is important because you don’t want to be repeating the same mistakes over again. Write it down, set reminders, practice, etc. Do what you have to so the mistake is not made again.  Remind yourself to double and triple check everything prior to moving forward. This will make it less likely for another error to occur.

Fixing the mistake. Since you were the one who made the mistake, it is now your responsibility to correct it. Sometimes the timing alone can be essential, so make sure to correct the error as soon as possible and go out of your way to ensure it has been fixed correctly. 

Now you can breathe easily and move on! Take it easy on yourself, don’t spend time focusing on the mistake you made and the reasons why. That will just cause you to worry, and worrying can cause more mistakes. If you follow these 4 steps I guarantee the likelihood of making another mistake will decrease dramatically.

Remember we all make mistakes every now and then, but how you handle them is what makes all the difference. 

5-tips-to-get-you-motivated

We all have our own scenarios and reasons as to why we’re not feeling motivated. You went to bed too late, woke up too early, or you’re just not getting enough sleep in general. It could be that it’s Friday and your entire week has been exhausting, or it’s Monday and you are not quite ready for the week ahead. Whatever the reason, we all have them. So I’ve come up with some quick tips to help you get going when you least feel like it.

  1. Set Your Alarm: Not only will this wake you up, but I find if I set my alarm 30 minutes before I actually want to get up, it helps get my brain in ‘wake up’ mode.
  2. Give yourself at least 20 minutes to mentally prepare for the day: I’m not good when I’m running late. I like to take my time with my morning routine. I like to get my coffee ready, my workspace all set-up etc. When you’re prepared, you’re more likely to feel motivated for the workday.
  3. Make a list: I don’t know about you, but I like to know what needs to get done each day. I like to see it in front of me, on paper. Not just what is on my calendar, but all of the small things that need to be accomplished before days end. Crossing those things off my list just adds to my motivation.
  4. Set a big goal for the day (something do-able): At the bottom of my daily list I like to set one large goal for the day. This could be working on a major project you have going, creating content, or that one thing you’ve been putting off for weeks. This should be something you can get done in a day.
  5. Routine, routine, routine: This is the most important step! Make a routine for yourself. This is essential if you want to get things done in a timely manner. The more you do it, the more likely it will become repetitive. Having a routine will make you feel efficient, confident and eager to start your workday. This is a major step for motivation, so jump in!