Newsletter from Carolyn Banks, CEO, September 2019
Newsletter from Carolyn Banks, CEO, September 2019
Hi my vibrant Venusians, another month bites the dust – September is racing towards us and I’ve even heard a few people mention that dreaded word ‘Christmas’! Eek! We’ve also had the worst of winter come through in the last month – at least my boots and faux fur jacket have had a good outing this year. Still can’t wait for summer – that’s definitely my favourite season of the year. Life seems harder somehow during winter and soooo much easier in summer – right?
So what have I been up to since you heard from me?
I feel like I’ve spent a lot of this year slaving over a hot laptop – my goal for the next three months is to get out and about as much as I can and I’m really keen on Zoom RAVE’s if anyone is interested?
As a charity, we have a legal requirement on us to report to the Charities Commission within six months of the end of the previous financial year so that’s been my focus. Also as a charity, we’ve had to look at how we run Xero and what extra reporting is required and have had to make some changes there. For someone like me who isn’t the best at that side of the business (i.e., it should be easy should it?) it’s been a learning curve. Also dealing with some of the financial and legal detail around payment plan has been interesting. The good thing is you seem to love it – the bad thing is that it’s had an impact on the cash flow so I’ve needed to be very detailed and manage that very closely. All learning curves though! Just like you, I’m just a girl running a business and have to deal with the highs and lows of doing so.
Venus Training Academy
Venus Business Essentials is what consumed me for most of July and August. This programme used to be delivered in person over 6 months at $1500 but I’ve decided to turn it into an ‘online’ programme complete with modules and videos to walk the participants through it. It’s all about the basic foundations you need to have in place to run your business. I’ve done this because I’m continually surprised how many people don’t have a business plan, sales plan, marketing plan etc or even understand their financials. This programme is a good ‘where to start’ programme and will be sold to anyone who wants to buy it. Obviously Venus members, like our programmes and workshops in the Academy, are going to get this cheaper than members of the public. We are going to be running some Beta testing of this late September/early October with really cheap pricing as we want to get some feedback before we launch it en-masse – if this is something you’re interested in keep your eyes open. The worst part of Venus Business Essentials for me was the 60 short video’s that we had to do – eww, I don’t really enjoy that side of things, I’ve decided I’m more a ‘behind the scenes getting things organised’ kind of gal – but like you in business sometimes you just got to do some of these things!
Jen Myers, our Venus Academy Manager, has been loading this up and getting it all set up and at the same time we’ve finished our presentation workshop, and are moving on to Branding, PR, Social Media and Financial workshops and programmes.
Our Growth Programme has also been launched (ever so quietly) in Auckland and we’re about to go into a phase of social media promotion as well. This programme is almost at the opposite end of Business Essentials as its focus is on businesses that want to scale up.
I love my job – I get to work with a wealth of wonderful women in Venus doing some amazing things and through the Venus Academy these can be delivered to you our members – all these women want to do, much like the Academy, is help you help yourselves. As you know you always get when you give as well so it’s a win/win all round – makes me very happy!
We then, of course, have our Business Management programme which has been run very successfully and will be run again next year.
All the detail about what is on where can be found via the Eventbrite tag on the website, it will show you what is going on where. Payment plan options are available for workshops and programmes, we want to make it easy for you to do these.
If you’re keen get in touch with your Regional Manager and she’ll get the ball rolling for you, alternatively contact either myself or Jen Myers, our Academy Manager.
So how are you getting on with your RAVES and Referrals? As you know we’re running two competitions for referrals – all those that give us a referral and the resulting guest joins will go into a draw to win a box of wine. Additionally, we’re running one for RAVES and referrals – the more you do the more entries you get. These both finish at the end of August so make sure you’ve checked in with your Facilitator and she’s noted everything in the system as that’s what we’re using to keep a running total.
Why competitions in the depth of winter – well life just seems that little bit harder so I thought it was a good opportunity to encourage a little competition and give recognition to those who are really putting their best foot forward! Oh, and the prospect of winning some nice wine and sitting down and drinking it on a cold day in front of a warm heater I personally find appealing!
Loyalty and Payment plans are very definitely having a big impact. I see lots of members who have been around for years now taking the one year option and paying the reduced cost. That was the whole idea, to reward you for your commitment to the network, and I also know that a commitment of a year will see things working.
Remember your VRM or I am always there to support you – if you haven’t done a POWER RAVE and/or a networking plan with either one of us drop us an email and get one sorted. No point in re-inventing the wheel!
Member Success, Power Hour and Collaborative Teams workshops are also being run by the VRM’s and Academy coaches nationwide – get involved and you’ll benefit! Keep an eye on the ‘Eventbrite’ tag on the website, also the reminders will be given in the Venus news at your meetings.
Zoom Power Hour and Member Success workshops continue to be popular – this is a great way to network from the comfort of your own home/computer with the wider network – because of that, we are going to be running more using Zoom as a delivery mechanism. Collaborative Teams is also running in most regions as well but isn’t really a workshop that translates overly well to Zoom.
This month has also seen Venus Virtual, our on-line networking option launched. We’ve always had lots of enquiries from women in places we don’t have groups for networking so I decided to get this up and running. The first meeting there were six, second looks like 10 so I’m thinking we’re probably going to be around 15/16 by the end of the year. If you know anyone that is interested get them to register on the website and choose ‘Venus Virtual Networking’ as their group.
Please, please, please register your guests rather than inviting them along to the meeting. You don’t know who else is booked to turn up, the last thing we want is two people in the same category in the same meeting!
Think about the women you do business with. The power of the community is the community and as we grow and change our ability to work alongside, help and collaborate with one another increases as well. The more of us that there are, the more we can support, encourage and motivate one another, step up and run amazing businesses. You and your business will benefit from the community as it grows.
A reminder that for each person you refer to Venus you get a one-month free membership when they’ve joined and paid their membership fee. Get them to register online or put them in touch with your Regional Manager. They MUST mention you in their registration (which is why I would personally do it myself!) Also remember you run the risk of winning a box of WineFriend Wine!
Inspiring Business Women
We want the world to know you exist! Remember that Inspiring Business Women is a way to promote yourself and your business to the wider network. We feature these on all our social media (FB regional and national pages. Instagram and Linked In) and get good attention on them all.
Why are we doing all of this – to build the Venus Foundation. This is where any money we make goes, simply any profit CANNOT be taken out of the business.
We are building the Venus Foundation not only provide help not only to you our current members but also for those that will come after us. By getting involved and supporting the Foundation you are helping build a legacy for businesswomen in NZ.
If you know a woman who is running a business that she wants to grow and develop she needs to get involved in Venus.
The Venus Foundation will provide scholarships and interest free loans for women to grow and develop themselves and their businesses – that is our charitable purpose.
Why? We want to be the one-stop shop for businesswomen in NZ, the place they go for advice and support in setting up, running and growing their businesses, among a community of women like you, wonderful supportive like-minded businesswomen.
We want to be the organisation that helps businesswomen with their personal and professional development. We want to make our services and our training and development affordable for the majority.
Simply we want to be the business that makes the difference with them and for them.
There are lots of government departments and private businesses doing similar things – our USP being no one person is going to be making money out of doing so, we are working for the good of the community as a whole.
Any profit will be reinvested into the Foundation. Venus will be moving forward to be working alongside those private businesses and government departments and coordinating those within our network as well as those outside the network around what our members need.
My main goal is to promote Venus, grow the community and deliver to our members from through both Venus Networking and the Venus Academy.
How can you help? Whether you’ve been in Venus 5 minutes or 5 years you have something unique to contribute to this community – you. Your support of Venus is what we need to help us help whomever we can. The skillset, business and life experience each of us brings is what is important and what can helps the community as a whole.
Support us, refer us, train with us – tell everyone who will listen about our wonderful community, invite them to get involved. By doing that you’re not only helping Venus, you’re helping yourself.
We have amazing member businesses, a community of amazing businesswomen who want to succeed and help others to succeed as well. The strength of the network is the network, by helping others we help ourselves, after all a rising tide lifts all boats!
Remember Venus is here for you – if you need help with something ask.