Friday Fun: Summer-time Fun


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Memorial  Day starts summer-time  Dressed_to_grill cook-outs, graduations and for some lucky divas holiday r&r. Came across this grill cookbook that just had to be written especially for us Divas. I'm thinking of buying it just for the title: Dressed To Grill: Savvy Recipes For Girls Who Play With Fire. The promotional copy for is a hoot too.
Here's every aspect of modern grilling girl-dom-from Animal Magnetism Steak for that hot date to How Could I Be Sarong if the romance goes sour.

Capturing memories at special times is a must. Sharing your memories is a must as well. Have you seen the cool new mash-up (my new fav word) Amiglia? It combines photos, blogs, videos, music, calendars, tags, chat, Google maps all in the format of an interactive family album.

Amiglia is a family owned small business. Milena Berry, one of the founders, and I exchanged a few emails. I was intrigued with the name of the company - Amiglia. Milena told me it's a  wordplay of the Italian word for family "famiglia." Here's a peek inside this famiglia start-up business..from the perspective of Diva Milena.

Diva Marketing: What's your role in the business?

Melena: While Paul slaves away at the programming, I basically tell him what to do and when. Kind of a joke, but, I'm constantly interacting with customers, using the site and taking charge of press relations. And so much of the feedback has shaped the site.

We're a tiny team really, using my connections to Bulgarian programmers through Paul's talents as well, but we've bootstrapped this so far and not gone looking for funding. We see this as an advantage in a way, as we're fast and agile. Vange has played a much more distant role, but important -- the site has to work for grandmothers!

Diva Marketing: You indicated you were giving away a free year membership. When does the special end?

Melena: This is a special that we offer to anyone signing up during Beta. And although the site is more and more stable every day, we're planning to be in it for at least a couple of more months.

You can see about our plan for pricing. It's important to note that even if you use it for a year, and then stop paying, we won't delete your album, but just freeze it so you can come back to it later.

Diva Marketing: I'm assuming that all of the "family members" must be part of Amiglia.

Melena:  While Amiglia can be setup and maintained by one family contributor, it definitely gets a lot better with more and more family members involved. You can have one Amiglia site with the whole family part of it, or you can make related albums.

So while you have one for your nuclear family, your cousin might have one for his nuclear family, and your brother-in-law for his etc. And just like in the real world some people from different nuclear families overlap. So when these albums are related they can share photos and family information between them. You can read more about related albums.

Astrology_7 Biz Astro Tips
business astrology for fun
By Diva Astrology Bloggers Paula Dare & Donna Page

The new moon in Gemini tomorrow is about communicating and listening. Are you hearing what your customers are trying to tell you? What needs to be communicated so you attract the right clientele? A proliferation of new blogs will develop over the next few weeks. If you haven’t been blogging now is the time to start.

Gemini energy can over promise and then need to talk their way out of, or excuse themselves from projects.  What if you committed less yet delivered more that you promised? Try it. Venus will be in Aries for a few more days; take advantage of her aggressive side and ask for what you want. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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I Love Bloggers


Kisses I love bloggers. Really I do. Even those A-list bloggers who pretend that they are not..don't want to be and are stepping down from their A-list bloggy towers. Even those bloggers who sometimes get on a rant and want to 'save the blogosphere' from itself. Even the geek bloggers and the mommy bloggers. And of course the seniors like Millie and Ronnie.

Why do I love bloggers? Most. Most. Most. Bloggers are ... curious people who are in a continuous learning mode. They like to push the envelope. They're brave about sharing themselves and their ideas. They're friendly, generous and kind. And they love to talk about blogging! (My non bloggy friends will only let me talk blogs for seconds. Except Max of course, who listens most of the time. Tho I think that's because he knows he'll end up with doggy chocolate kisses!).

: Don't tell me about the bloggers who are mean, closed minded and evil. I know all that. Read the first words above Most. Most. Most.

For the students at Bentley College who might ask, "What does this have to do with marketing?" It's part of the networking game babes. It's all about the Corner Grocery Store relationship. It's all about the conversation. If I like you and you like me we're more likely to do business together, pass along referals, serve as a resouce. Call it Web 2.0 Networking or any thing you like ...  Read Scott's, Pothole on the Infobahn, Top Ten Questions on Web 2.0 very funny.

Read Carol's, Driving in Traffic's take on the Atlanta Biz Blog dinner at Grape at the Forum. And the generous post by Josh at hyku (Josh has links to all) and the Diva Potato Chip Girl who brought along a cute non bloggy friend to dinner because she didn't know that bloggers would totally love her - even without samples of Potato Finger Chips! Jory, Lisa and Elisa ... I see an Atlanta BlogHer contingency in our future.

Toss of a pink boa Pink_boa_12to Teresa & Josh thanks for pulling this together!

This is networking the "C-Generation" style. Divas & Divos, it's buzz word time .. taking a drink of the Kool Aid .. throw in some gin or vodka or tequila if you must.

C - Generation: People who create and consume their own content while creating community.

Oh, one more reason to love bloggers...most bloggers...they're just fun!

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Shattering The Glass Ceiling


Right from the Introduction I knew Jeanne Torrence Hauer’s Millionaire Women would be a different read than other success books about women. In non judgmental style, the author sets the stage of by explaining the complex choices women are faced with in today’s world.

Millionaire Women earns its success from Hauer's skill as a storyteller and her background as a marketer.  The book offers a unique look at how and why 16 women began and succeeded, beyond all dreams, in their kitchen table businesses.

Don’t let the words kitchen table fool you, these women entrepreneurs are no light weights when it comes to achieving financial and personal success. Lorraine Tribe, Quest Personnel, an international recruitment firm, had billings of $40 million what she sold her company for almost $5 million (stock and cash).

Did you know that the first self-made millionaire in the U.S.was an African American woman? Madam C.J. Walker, founder of C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, made her fortune from hair care products. Some of the other women interviewed include: Doris Christopher, The Pampered Chef, Arlene Lenarz, Mary Kay Cosmestics, Lillian Vernon, Lillian Vernon Corporation, Rian Van Velzen-Bastaansen, Nature's Choice.

In addition to inspiring stories, the book provides specific strategies and tactics that any business person – diva or divor – can put into practice. Several important, common themes run through each woman's story.

1. Find and follow your passion

Not everything will be easy. There will be obstacles, but follow your passion. -  Doris Chistopher, The Pampered Chef

2. Take care of your customers

Treat your customers as though they were your grandparents. - Sally Degnan, Two Men and A Truck

3. Great people make a great company

Our success has been founded on our choice of great people to work with. - Pat Miller, Vera Bradley Designs

4.Build strong, authenic relationships

People-based relationships and performance will continue to be most important in the formula for success. Lorraine Tribe, Quest Personnel

5. Keep life and business in perspective

Don't take life too seriously and don't make everything personal. Cynthia R. Jones, Jones Worley Graphic Design Consultants

A must read for business owners, those thinking of entering the entrepreneurship world or when your world spins too fast and you need a tad of encouragement.

A few more Diva role models from the Wall Street Journal – The 50 Women To Watch. The report profiles 50 women who have broken through the glass ceiling.  Here are the top 3 from each category.

In Line to Lead

Karen Katen – President, Pfizer Global Pharmceuticals

Marjorie Magner – Chairman and CEO, Global Consumer Group, Citigroup

Indra Noovi – President and CFO, PepsiCo

The Inheritors 

Abigail P. Johnson – President, Fidelity Management & Research Co.

Ann Patricia Botin – Chairwoman, Banco Espanol de Credito


Redstone – President National Amusements

The Owners

Oprah Winfrey – Harpo.Inc.

Kim Sung Joo – Sungioo International, Sungioo Design Tech & Distribution

Fredy Bush – Xinhua Financial Network

The Grant Givers

Patty Stonesifer – President and Co-Chairman, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

(one mention)

The Watchdogs

Elizabeth Grossman – Action Attorney, EEO Commission

Amy Butte – Chief Financial Officer, NYSE

Linda Chatman Thomsen – Deputy Director of Enforcement, SEC

Running the Show

Carly Fiorina, CE Hewlett-Packard

Margaret C. Whitman, CE, eBay

Andrea Jung – Chairman, Avon Products

Show Me The Money


What do you do if you're an entrepreneur with a dream but lack capital? Find an investor to help bank roll your idea. Easier said than done! Last week Donna Lynes-Miller, president of GourmentStation, invited me to attend the Tennessee Valley Venture Forum (TVVF) with her. Interesting look at a world where deals are made and dreams can either soar or crash and burn.

TVVF is a trade show (sponsored by Technology 2020 and the city of Chattanooga) that puts selected companies (the exhibitors) in contact with prospective investors (the attendees). The business owners also have an opportunity to present their "babies" front and center to the money people - in a 12-minute sales pitch. Talk about a stressful moment in the sun.

A panel of venture capital experts concurred that we're coming out of a flat period and deals are beginning to flow. If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking of going the investment route, here are a few tips from Chris Kyriopoulous, general partner of FCA Venture Partners III, L.P. (Clayton Associates), on what the VCs are looking for in a portfolio company. Chris, thanks for your slides.

Critical Investment Factors
1. Management Team - Bet on the jockey. "We'd rather back an A team with a B plan."
2. CEO "Passion Meter" - Has the CEO invested in herself?
3. Clear Exit Strategy
4. Concept - Is it valid, unique and proprietary?
5. Cohesive Business Plan - Must get it in 15-minutes or less
6. Proven Revenue Model - Does it work?
7. Size of the Market and Growth Characteristics
8. Time to Market
9. Do We (the investment firm) Know The Business - There's a strong comfort level in doing deals in repeat industries.
10. Key Strategic Relationships - Investors, vendors, portfolio. Are they a "fit" for any of companies in the investment firm's portfolio?

Tips on Raising Equity for Entrepreneurs
1. Do your homework!
2. Maintain a focus on your business
3. "Pitch" to firms who know your business (industry) See #9 Critical Investment Factors
4. Find the lead investor first
5. Be flexible: be willing to give up equity

Key takeaways: Passion-Vision-Truth-Communication-Persistence

Read More
-Innovations Publishing
-re:invention - check the left nav bar
-National Venture Capital Association

Small Biz: No Customers = No Business


The SBA/Kauffamn Foundation Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century Conference proceedings part 1 and part 2 are online including videos (urls included in proceeding docs). Thought leaders talked about issues and challenges affecting small businesses: innovation, technology, financing, management and work force. Found on: Resource Shelf

What’s missing from the list?
Hint: No Customers = No Company
Answer: Marketing! If you build it they will not come unless you tell them.
I've worked in the small biz space for almost 15-years and it continues to amaze me how frequently symposiums/workshops about small biz neglect the very strategy that is critical to turning "ideas" into "businesses"

Our friends at Small Business Trends have done a superb job summarizing the SBA’s Quarterly Indicators report. According to Anita the outlook for small business is on the up-swing. “Looking at these factors, the current economy is a favorable environment for U.S. small businesses to start up, expand and invest in new equipment, services and other purchases." With factors in favor of beginning and growing small businesses, if you are considering the small biz path, I can not urge you strongly enough to develop a marketing plan that will help you develop your dream into a successful, thriving company.

Entrepreneur Checklist
1. Do you have an innovative product or service?
2. Do you have funding?
3. Are you leveraging technology?
4. Do you have smart, dedicated people on staff?

Think you’re ready to open your doors? Think some more.

Entrepreneur Marketing Checklist
1. Have you profiled your customers?
2. Do you understand the competition?
3. Do you understand your product or service? How does it help make your customers’ lives better?
4. How will you position your products/serivces in the marketplace?
4. Are you monitoring the environment including your industry?
6. Do you know how you'll support customers after the sale?
5. The $5 Billion question: Do you have a marketing plan?

nyt_1800_toothpasteSide bar: interesting new small business to watch. Is this a product or a marketing promotion?1 800 BEST DDS is a tooth paste that drives users to call real dentists (vs. call centers) if they have a problem. The strategy is dentists will caputre new patients. “The real beauty of 1 800 BEST DDS toothpaste is the packaging, emblazoned with the toll-free number.” Dr. Baldev Sandhu. Sunday NYT.

Favorite Entrepreneurship Quote: “When I think of work, it's mostly about having control over your destiny, as opposed to being at the mercy of what's out there.” Gary Sinise

Read More
-Small Business Development Centers
-Women Business Centers
-Business Services from British Columbia, Canada