News & Events from the WSBA
- Written by The WSBA
Tell us a little about Walnut Bend Creative:
At Walnut Bend Creative, we write and edit educational materials and other content. Our goal is to refine and bring clarity to each project while maintaining the client's voice and perspective. My background is in education and I have more than 15 years of experience in editing, project management, and writing.
How long have you been in business?
I started Walnut Bend Creative in December 2012, but I've been working in publishing, education, and public relations since college.
Why did you start your own business?
I wanted more freedom in what I did and how I did it. I loved what I did and my coworkers, but as things changed and they moved on to new jobs, I wanted to make a change. The flexibility is great as a parent, too. It's not always ideal to be working weird hours, but it's great to have the option to do so if I need to spend more time with my kids.
How did you hear about office space at the WSBA?
I was tired of Panera and searching for co-working or rental space in the Westerville or Columbus area at just the right time to have an ad from WSBA pop-up. I feel so lucky that the timing worked so well.
What is your favorite feature/benefit of the WSBA offices?
Having a space of my own is great. It's helping my do a better job of separating my work life and my home life. And I love seeing other people while I'm working. My dog doesn't make small talk or give realistic feedback.
What is the best part about being a small business owner?
I get to work with great clients and build teams of incredibly talented people.
Why do you feel it's important to support women business owners?
Women business owners are some of my favorite people! Their creativity and strength is inspiring. Women-owned businesses are growing but our businesses get far less of the funding and opportunities than male-owned businesses. That makes it so much more important to put your own money into supporting women-owned businesses when you can.
- Written by The WSBA
In May on this year, the Women's Small Business Accelerator welcomed three new members to our Board of Directors. We are so pleased to announce the addition of:
Sue is Founder of Sophisticated Styling, a personal wardrobe styling company. Sue has powerful firsthand knowledge of the importance of dressing for the situation, organization, and client. Over 20 years of sales, marketing and management in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries taught Sue to dress for intent every single day. Sue is certified as a Wardrobe Consultant and Personal Shopper by the Association of Image Consultants International. She has trained with the same organization as an Image Consultant and a Color Analyst, with further training with a former stylist from TLC's "What Not to Wear."
Sue is an active committee member of NAWBO Columbus (National Association of Women Business Owners) and a member of WELD (Women for Economic and Leadership Development). Sue has presented to various organizations on "Dressing for Intent™." Presentations have included those to Alliance Data, Kaiser Consulting, Mount Carmel Medical Group, Ohio Diversity Latino Talent and Leadership Conference, WELD, NAWBO and CREW (Columbus Real Estate Women).
Tanya Copley if the VP and Senior Relationship Manager at Fifth Third Bank, a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the last ten years, Tanya has assisted business owners and entrepreneurs by providing financing and cash management solutons to acquire and grow their businesses. These solutions include the use of technology to streamline day-to-day banking, financing to fund growth, and a large network of resources.
Tanya is a Board Member for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce and serves as the Chairperson of Quarterly Programs where she leads group of volunteers to organize and secure speakers for quarterly luncheons that represent the requests of the members and community.
We look forward to having these ladies by our side as we continue to help women business owners achieve their business ownership dreams through empathy, mentoring, and education.
- Written by Mary McCarthy
"The most basic of all human needs is to be understood – Ralph Nicols.
When you inventory personal attributes and business tools that will help you succeed and grow your business, effective listening skills should top the list. After all, listening is free and requires little effort on your part; right? For many of us, the answer is yes listening is free but no it requires more effort that we typically give. In fact, research shows that individuals are engaged with some type of listening 55% of our day and only actively listen 25-50% of that time. This means that if you have a 30-minute conversation with a potential client, you are typically listening 7 ½ to 15 minutes during the meeting to what they have to say and not always consecutively. How can you respond if you didn't hear everything they had to say?
Per the International Listening Association, listening is "the active process of receiving, constructing meaning from, and responding to spoken and/or nonverbal messages. It involves the ability to retain information, as well, and to react empathically and/or appreciatively to spoken and/or nonverbal messages." In other words, listening is much more of a mental act than a physical act.
Have you ever sat in a meeting where multiple conversations were going on at the same time? The meeting had a purpose when it was scheduled but during the meeting various attendees became distracted, bored, or impatient and began side conversations that decreased everyone's ability to focus and listen? What about sitting in a sales meeting? Are you already formulating your answer before the potential client has finished their sentence?
Active listening takes effort. So how can you improve your listening skills?
- Focus on the speaker, looking directly at them and keeping eye contact the entire time they are talking.
- Pay attention to their non-verbal cues as well as their verbal cues.
- Repeat back to them what you heard them say to confirm the accuracy of what you heard.
- Listen with empathy, putting yourself in your speakers shoes, caring about them as a person, as well as what they have to say.
- Let the speaker know you are listening by providing them non-verbal cues during the conversation such as nodding your head and smiling.
Years ago I learned an effective sentence which improved my production ten-fold and still use to this day, "so what I heard you say was . . . "This response came from frustration that we were not communicating. By repeating back what I heard, I found that we were not communicating as well as I had first thought. We were not on the same communication page until I paraphrased what I heard and verbally repeated it back. Only then did our communications increase and my effectiveness go through the roof. It is up to each one of us to take control of our communications and listening skills in order to find ways to improve our effectiveness. Just like writing a business plan and tracking your revenue and expenses, developing strong listening skills will become a tool in your arsenal that will help you effectively grow your business.