Monthly Archives: March 2009

Organization to boost women business owners

Grand Rapids Business Journal

A new group is organizing to support women whose businesses are ready to take the next step.

WISE — Women In Successful Enterprises — aims to help women business owners who are past the start-up phase and are ready to grow, said Floriza Genautis.

Genautis, owner of Management Business Solutions Inc., a Grand Rapids staffing and recruiting firm with six employees, is working with Connie Sweet of Connection Group in Lansing to organize WISE, an outgrowth of their participation in the local group Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs.

WISE plans to sponsor events quarterly for established women-owned businesses in central and West Michigan, Genautis said. The first occurred last week, with a session on sustainability at Cascade Engineering, followed by a brewery tour and networking time at Schmohz Brewery. She said she expected about 50 to attend.

The next event will be a full-day conference on leadership May 21 in conjunction with Ann Arbor-based Michigan Women’s Marketplace, an online forum for women in business, at Davenport University’s Caledonia campus.

“It’s created to be a resource group for women in business who are already established.” said Genautis, who launched her firm less than three years ago.

“When we were looking to find a name, we really said, ‘You know, these are wise women,’” she added. “They are looking to grow their business to the next level. They’re certainly not start-ups. They are not in the entrepreneurial phase. … We want to be the vehicle to provide those opportunities as well as resources to get them to that level.”

The organization is not membership-based, she said.

Genautis said she has often attended events for women business owners on the east side of the state.

“There’s something missing here in our area in West Michigan, because there’s nothing here available. There are a lot of great, great … events, organizations available to help you get started, networking opportunities, but never focused on established companies. Really, that’s where we came in.”

More information is available at www.wiseconnections.org.

“It’s very inclusive. You don’t have to be a business owner to join in,” she added, noting that executives in larger businesses may participate in WISE events.

Among the issues that established businesses face that may be addressed by WISE are public relations and employee retention, Genautis said. “We do face different types of issues as we grow our business,” she said.

Article Written By: Elizabeth Slowik

Time for Social Media Marketing

Wow, nearly a full month without an entry. Funny, right after my last post I found other subjects right away I thought would be appropriate blog posts. Now here I am nearly a month later and I am having to remind myself to do a blog entry before the end of the month.

As you can easily see I haven’t embraced the blog-sphere. For me it is a reminder of the many tasks we all strive to meet each hour, each day, each month, each year. I do like the idea of sharing new ideas and expressing my view point. What I don’t like is the challenge of fitting yet another item onto the monthly list. Does it seem to you like more items get added than get taken away?

So, how important are blogs and social media for Web site marketing? Some people are saying they are spending upwards of 20 hours a week with their LinkedIN, Facebook and Twittering. Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Michael A. Stelzner, March 2009, as reported by WebProNews, outlines the value of social media in regard to SEO.

Statistics show this little blog has helped to bring our Web site numbers up. No doubt dedicating regular time to social marketing each week would help increase SEO as well. The bigger question I am posing when it comes to SEO is what is the amount of time required for service businesses to reap the reward – actual buyers to the site? We’ve all recognized that social networking marketing helps in other ways besides SEO, it is worthy of dedicated time. It needs to be added to the monthly list – ugh! More likely, it is tIme to determine what I can turn over to a staff specialist! That’s the ticket, don’t add anything new to your list, find a reliable resource to handle it and save your precious time. And now I get to take “make blog entry” off my list – at least for this month.