Ladies Who Lunch - The Waterfront Series

Today being Thanksgiving, I thought it was a great time to give thanks to a group that has given me, and all of us, so much.

Some of us are just getting started with our businesses, while others have been doing this for years. It can be really tough when you're new to the game or struggling to keep your business afloat. That's why the brilliant LWL hosts a variety of events and showcases. They give everyone a place to network, meet likeminded people and learn new things that will help get your business off the ground and growing.

On October 7th I attended the Waterfront Series at the Carleton Place Canoe Club and I am so glad I did. If you are just getting started or are struggling in an area of your business, this was the event. There was so much to take away from The Waterfront Series, I could hardly take notes fast enough!

Have you ever asked yourself, “If I'm in charge here, why am I broke”? Well Angela Sutcliffe wrote the book on it. Literally. She is a powerhouse business consultant whotaught us how to figure out why were broke. Hint: it has to do with ignoring the parts of your business you don't like doing or don't understand how to do.

For many people, myself included, tracking and managing income and expenses is exhausting, tedious, confusing work. Not for Judith Cane, though. She can help you get yourself and your business on track, making budgets that work for you and figuring out how to understand your statements. Two big take-aways from her: don't co-mingle your business and personal finances and; don't spend more than you're making.

For others of us, it's the new technology trends that eludes us. Words like hashtag and selfie leave us staring blankly as we miss out on making online connections with different audiences. Catalina Bloch decrypted the world of social media, teaching us what language to use to reach different audiences and how to understand analytics to improve how we interact online.

During lunch we heard from local success story, Arlene Anderson as she described her incredible story of succeeding despite being a woman in a man's world, selling a product she doesn't use, in a sport she doesn't play! After lunch, we learned all about branding ourselves and our business like a celebrity without breaking the bank. Brenda Hollingsworth is a total branding guru and gave us all kinds of great tips improving our brand.

If your business is retail based, Joan Garvey is the woman to look to. She is a retail guru and she taught us how to create stronger retail business and and increase seasonal sales. A great tip from her is to make sure you understand who your customers are, how they buy and why they buy.

If you've been struggling with whether to incorporate or go with a sole proprietorship, Margaret DeMerchant is the resident expert. She taught us about the advantages and disadvantages of both and discussed how to set up your business structure and accounting records. An important tip from Margaret: when you're starting out, speak with a professional to determine which business structure is right for you.

I am so very thankful to all of these women for taking the time out of their extremely busy day to come give us their tips and advice, and to answer our questions. I learned so much valuable information on areas that are crucial to my business's success and made so many wonderful new connections. 

         - Cait O'Malley, owner of Bourbon & Bloom