Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs Europe

We are Women Migrentrepreneurs. Finding our place, making our mark.

Set Your Target Straight

Source: dirtyprettything.tumblr.com via Joann on Pinterest

Entering the 4th week of the year, have you already set your targets for 2013?

With so much to do but limited time and resources, it’s important to know how each action will bring us closer to our goals. In order to do that we have to have our targets clear. This means having specific ones.  Instead of just saying, I would like my business to be profitable this year, say, “I need to make a sales of XYZ euros this year in order for my business to be profitable”. Or instead of saying “I will lose weight this year.”, say, I will lose 5 kilograms this year. This makes it easier for us to breakdown our target into actions. In order to make that XYZ sales, how many products do I need to sell? How many clients do I need to reach? From there, plan how we will be able to reach those figures. This way we prioritize activities that takes us closer to this goal. Sometimes we get so busy with so many activities. But are all these activities necessary to reach our goals? Are we focusing on the right activities to reach them?

To help with target setting, remember the S.M.A.R.T. goals?

S – SPECIFIC  As mentioned above, the goal has to be clearly defined. Be as specific as possible.

M – MEASURABLE  – Translate your targets into something that you can count or measure. A number of clients? A X% increase in sales? Set milestones so you can see that you are advancing and celebrate each milestone! (That should help with keeping the motivation 🙂

A – ATTAINABLE – Be realistic about your goal. You cannot target a sales of 1000 pieces of Product X if the production capacity is only 500 pieces. Knowing your capacity, resources and the realities, what is feasible for you?

R – RELEVANT – Make sure that your target resonates with your environment and your business. Are the targets in line with your business’ mission? Are the consumers looking for this product/service? Is it the right time for this?

T – TIME-BASED – Give yourself a time-frame. This way you know how much time you have to reach the goal, to know if it’s realistic. It will also prevent you from procrastinating and giving excuses. Give yourself a deadline and do what you have to do to reach that goal.

So don’t just keep yourself busy, but get busy with things that matter. Set your target straight!

Filed under: Inspiration, , , ,

Mind map your way to business!

Revisiting my old bookshelf, I got reconnected with the book on Mind Mapping of Tony Buzan. I remember using the tool to make notes and review for exams and now for business concept development, brainstorming and marketing planning.

Mind Mapping is a visual representation of concepts, information and associations that makes use of key words, lines, colors and drawings. It can be as simple or as complex as the mapper pleases.

If you find writing text heavy business plans a chore, why not try this? (Unfortunately, you cannot present this to a bank to apply for a loan!) But it will be easier to refer back to as you go through the day to day of business.  So a combination of both is best! 😀

mindmapbusiness

Via Using Mind Maps

Here are some links to know more:

Mind Mapping and Bootstrapping 

Mind Map Tutor shows the step by step to your business mind map.

Explore resources on Mind Mapping for Business here.

Filed under: B in Business, Ideas, ,

Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs at center stage!

Last Wednesday, thousands of women entrepreneurs from all over Europe converged at the Square in Brussels for the 2012 European SME Summit.  I’m sure you can imagine the vibe and the energy from having all these women come together.

Seeing the growing importance and potential contributions of immigrant women entrepreneurs to the European economy, a workshop was organized specifically on the topic. Five successful immigrant women entrepreneurs coming from five countries shared about the experiences and difficulties we, immigrant women, usually encounter in starting and growing our businesses.  However, just seeing all these ladies up there on stage show us that we can hurdle these obstacles and make it!

We’ll be talking about our experiences and lessons learned, and sharing the stories of some women we met over these two days in Brussels in the coming posts so hang in there! In the meantime, have a great weekend, everyone!

Filed under: MW News, , , , , ,

Cultural Capital: A Confession of Culture Shock

One of the things aren’t usually highlighted in “you-can-do-it” books, websites about women being able to do what they want is the struggle some of the women are still actually going through. Not many either talk about the specific struggles immigrant or expat women deal with. At first, I didn’t want to focus on that either because, I thought, it was more important to be inspired by success stories than read someone’s difficulties. But I do believe that we can learn more hearing “challenge” stories and help support each other more. (That’s what this blog is for too!)

So, I confess. I think I may have been suffering from culture shock. I hadn’t thought of it until someone mentioned it to me. I didn’t want to admit it at first. How could I suffer from it? I have travelled a lot, lived in different cities, studied abroad and worked in an international environment for several years. If anything, I thought I am the most cultural-diversity-aware person.

Culture Shock is said to be a personal disorientation that happens when one is immersed in an unfamiliar way of life. It is said to be an anxiety that results from losing familiar symbols and social cues. For me, it’s being lost in the new set of rules and structures and not being able to or not knowing how to react when the environment does not respond to my actions the way I expect it to or have been used to.

So there is a feeling of helplessness, lack of control, frustration (not to mention feeling stupid for not being able to communicate simple things!). And so the usual immediate effects are rejection of the current environment and regression.

I’m glad it’s only a phase.

It is said to have different phases: Honeymoon, where all new things are seen in a romanticized way; Negotiation, where the differences (language, social structures, etc.) are now causing frustrations and anxiety, making dealing with day to day life seem harder; Adjustment, where one gets accustomed and accepts the differences and learns to live with it; Finally, the Mastery Phase where one is able to “participate fully and comfortable” in the host culture.

Here is a Cultural Adjustment Curve I found via Pryor Adventures

It was important for me to realize and admit that I may have Culture Shock. I’ve been racking my brains on what has been holding me back from moving my business, business ideas forward? I had all that I need, which wasn’t much. I just needed to start contacting people and getting out there.

So what now? Admitting to have Culture Shock may be the first step to get over it. The next step is to take conscious steps to get me through the curves.

Tell us, what do you think of Culture Shock? Have you experienced it?

Filed under: Crossing Borders, Cultural Capital, , , ,

Having a Business & Vacation

Can they ever go together? How do you do it?

Here are some points of view from around the web.

Ensure your business thrives even when you are away on vacation says Entrepreneur.com

Work during your vacation if you must, but set some limits, she says.

We can take a vacation and we must! This blog post enumerates why. 

Source: blog.intuit.com via Nola on Pinterest

Filed under: MW News, , ,

Be in Business: Travel

Everybody’s heading out and tourists are coming in. Yes, it’s vacation season. It’s at this month that things seem to move at slow motion. And so, for this month, we’ll only be posting once a week. And since the only thing in the minds of most now is travel, we’ll be talking about that.

First up, the business of Travel. Have you ever thought about it? Are you in it?

Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world. Whether mainstream or alternative; Whether inbound or outbound, business ideas abound!! Here are some ideas to get you thinking…

idea #1

As expats or immigrants, we are familiar with two countries. We can either choose to address the needs of tourists who would like to visit our countries of origin or tourists from our home country who would like to visit our host country. Find a niche and provide services or tours that mainstream travel agency do not usually give. Make use of your language skills, your knowledge of the local culture to create a new experience.

idea # 2

Travelers are looking for a new way to travel: where to stay, what to eat, what to do. What experience can we offer them? AirBnb is giving travelers a chance to stay in a local apartment whether for a cheaper choice (though not always!) or to give them another feel of the city, allowing them to live like a local.

idea # 3

Go niche. Pick out a passion and combine it with tour organizing. The Antiques Diva & Co.  started as a blog on travel, especially where to flea-shop and buy antiques. It has then evolved and now provides European Antique Shopping Tours.

idea # 4

Go online or go App! ToursbyLocals.com link you up with local guides. Hipshops.com shows you places to shop. What other services can you provide to travelers out there?  Read here on the top 7 Travel Apps of 2012. 

Filed under: Ideas, , , ,

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