HERBusiness, HERTips

3 Tips to Public Speaking

Public speaking is an important, albeit challenging, skill to master. Regardless of your position and title, it is crucial that you are able to communicate your ideas and opinions across to different people. Here are 3 tips that will help better your ability to speak in public.


Tip 1: Familiarise yourself with your environment
Research your audience – who are they? What are their viewpoints and concerns on the matter? Not only will doing this lay the groundwork for your speech, it will also you help you to anticipate and prepare for potential questions that members of the audience will raise during the Q&A session.
If possible, take a tour and practice at the location where you will be delivering your actual speech. Make a mental note of your physical surroundings – the lighting, seating arrangement and acoustics of the place. Take these into consideration when preparing the delivery of your speech.
Tip 2: Practice!
As with many other things in life, practice does make perfect when it comes to speaking in public. Once familiarized with your script, make it a point to rehearse through it. You can consider standing in front of a mirror or recording yourself. While you might cringe at the thought of having to watch yourself speak, doing this will help you pick up on your weaknesses immediately and address them. Alternatively, consider enlisting the help of a family member or trusted friend to watch you speak and provide constructive feedback on your performance.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with general flow and main points of your script rather than memorizing it word-for-word. Thus, if you lose your train of thought midway through, you will not have to scramble to think of the exact word as per your script but rather, recall the main point and talk from there.
Tip 3: Keep your cool
You may have spent hours preparing for your speech but you can still trip up during the actual event. Keep this possibility in mind during the delivery. If you forgot a line, think you spoke a little too fast or feel your voice quivering, take a deep breath and carry on. Chances are, if you act like it did not happen, your audience is less likely to pick up on the mistakes.

H.E.R Entrepreneur is a platform for women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to be inspired, educated and empowered through our online resources, meet-ups, workshops and conferences.

Meet like-minded individuals who will be convening at our annual H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018 by purchasing tickets here.

 

HERBusiness, Uncategorized

3 Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
You’re faced with what seems like a million tasks that need to be completed ASAP. How best can you maximise your time without burning out?
Here are 3 hacks for entrepreneurs to help boost your productivity.

Hack 1: Block out time to tackle your emails
Emails are an unavoidable part of being an entrepreneur. At any point in time, your inbox is likely to be inundated with requests for meetings with clients and potential partnership/sponsorship enquiries, among others. If you find yourself spending a significant amount of your time simply reading through and replying to emails throughout the day, take a page out of Elon Musk’s book and consider carving out blocks of time just to tackle your emails.
As the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, this billionaire receives a large number of emails each day, but devotes half an hour starting 7am each day solely to addressing his most “critical emails”. Adopting his practice allows you to filter through what is important to your decision-making while ensuring that you still have time to dedicate towards your other tasks.
Hack 2:  Make use of your commute
If you are not based from home, chances are you spend a significant amount of time commuting to and fro work. Given that many work-based applications can be accessed through your mobile device, why not use this time in a productive manner?
You can consider replying messages and those non-critical emails from hack 1 during your travels. Alternatively, utilize these periods of time for personal development; you could listen to podcasts on self-improvement or read e-books on personal growth.
Hack 3: Get comfortable with delegation
As an entrepreneur, it may be tempting to get involved in every aspect of your business. You want to ensure that a certain standard of quality is maintained across the company, and how better to ensure this than by doing everything yourself?
However, as an entrepreneur, your role within the company is one of leadership. Hence, rather than performing functional work, focus your time on making key decisions and charting the direction of growth for the company. If resources permit, consider delegation through outsourcing or hiring of employees so that you have the time to tackle the more important issues.

H.E.R Entrepreneur is a platform for women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to be inspired, educated and empowered through our online resources, meet-ups, workshops and conferences.

Meet like-minded individuals who will be convening at our annual H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018 by purchasing tickets here.

HERBusiness

Startup Funding for Beginners

Bootstrapping and crowd-sourcing for funds to support your startup’s growth can only get you so far. Want to know your options for sources of capital?
Here is a beginner’s guide to startup funding.

Seed and Angel Funding
This is when you are in the early stages of your business plan. A solid idea backed by a credible team of individuals can lead to interest from Angel Investors, who will use their own money to provide you with the capital to see your product grow.
Series A
The common investors for this round of funding tend to be Venture Capital (VC) firms who will provide capital upon valuation of the startup, usually in exchange for ownership of the company in the form of stock. The amount given is determined by a combination of factors including
  1. Growth of revenue – this would indicate that the product your startup has introduced is a good fit for the market and able to both attract new customers and increase sales from existing ones
  2. Market size – is there room for your idea to grow within the market? Is it possible that with time, you will be able to build and capture market share?
  3. Your team – having a group of capable individuals adds to the credibility of your startup, as external investors believe that this capability will translate into growth of the business
Series B
The common investors for this round tend to be VC firms. In this round, the startup must be able to show that they can scale up their business. This could be done through expanding into different markets or segments of a market and creating alternative sources of revenue. For funding to be obtained at this stage, the external investors would look at revenue forecasts of the startup and its current performance against other firms within the same industry. Ultimately with the funding obtained in this round, the startup should be able to go beyond generating revenue to break even but rather having a net profit instead.
Series C
The common investors for this round can include hedge funds and private equity firms, as well as late-stage VCs. This round is raised to obtain funding for large scale expansion through product development or acquisitions of other companies. This is done in order to grow market share.
A case in point would be that of Singapore-based platform Carousell, which acts as a consumer-to-consumer marketplace primarily in the sale of secondhand goods. It managed to raise about US$85 million in Series C funding in May 2018, co-led by its existing investors Rakuten Ventures and EDBI. It plans to use this investment for Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and expansion of product categories within which it operates.
While there is technically no limit to the number of rounds of funding that can be raised in this manner (meaning Series D, E and further is possible!), for most startups these are the more common rounds they will go through.
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Obtaining funding for your startup is in no way a guarantee of success. The example of California-based Beepi illustrates this point. A platform for peer-to-peer buying, selling and leasing of used cars, it obtained close to US$150 million in funding across various rounds, before it shuttered its operations in February of 2017.
Ultimately, if you are confident of your big idea, and have the data to support its potential profitability, it becomes a matter of building your network and communicating this across in order to obtain the funding you need to grow your startup further.


H.E.R Entrepreneur is a platform for women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to be inspired, educated and empowered through our online resources, meet-ups, workshops and conferences.
Meet like-minded individuals who will be convening at our annual H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018 by purchasing tickets here.
HERBusiness, Uncategorized

3 Tips for Small Business Owners to Harness the Power of Social Media

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Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

 

In today’s digital economy, it has become impossible to ignore the reach that social media platforms afford its users.
Here are 3 ways small business owners can utilize this powerful tool to their advantage.

Tip 1: Diversify your Online Presence
Gone are the days when maintaining a functional web page for customers to find information was sufficient. Today, it’s important for business owners to build their online presence on various social media platforms that will serve to further their reach. You may want to consider the following when deciding which combination of platforms best suits your business’ needs and target market:
Facebook – great for targeting a large number of potential customers and supports various formats of content, be it text-heavy posts or visuals and videos
Instagram – especially effective if millennials are your target audience as they view, create and share content on this platform regularly
LinkedIn – allows you to connect with fellow professionals and business owners, building networks that will come in useful.
Tip 2: Practice 2-Way Communication
Business owners can leverage on the fact that social media platforms are built to foster interaction between users. Encourage customers of your products to leave honest feedback and make the effort to respond promptly. This is especially so for negative feedback; replying graciously will not only placate the unhappy customer but will also send a positive signal to other users on your site.
In a world where peer reviews greatly influence consumer purchasing behaviour, investing time to build strong relationships with your existing customers through 2-way communication will help to attract new consumers to your business.
Tip 3: Be Consistent with your Content
Once you have established which platforms best suit your business needs, commit to updating them with content regularly. Consider topics that matter to your target audience and keep yourself abreast of current trends that capture their interest. Producing content consistently not only builds brand awareness among social media users, it also helps to establish credibility and brand reputation.
It is also important to create content that is in line with your brand values. Consider the case of The Body Shop. They use such platforms, not just as a means of publicizing product launches, but also to share causes they believe in. Their Facebook page, for example, features images and write-ups on campaigns to end animal testing, a cause that is very much aligned with their belief that beauty should be cruelty-free. Customers value authenticity in a brand, and hence creating and posting content that reinforces your brand is desirable.

H.E.R Entrepreneur is a platform for women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to be inspired, educated and empowered through our online resources, meet-ups, workshops and conferences.
Meet like-minded individuals who will be convening at our annual H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018 by purchasing tickets here.

 

HERBusiness, HERStories

5 Inspiring Female Foodpreneurs in Singapore

Singapore is a foodie’s dream with something to offer everyone.
Here are 5 women who have left their mark on the local food scene.
5 Inspiring Female Foodpreneurs in Singapore (1) (1)
1. Janice Wong
Regarded as Singapore’s Dessert Queen, Janice Wong embodies the very traits that make a successful entrepreneur. Despite the potential for a promising career in the banking industry, the economics graduate decided to follow her passion for culinary art by enrolling herself into a pastry program at the famed Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. It was her passion backed by grit and determination that allowed her to open 2am:dessertbar in 2007, and later an eponymous dessert restaurant, JANICE WONG, in 2014. Today, she goes beyond running her businesses with 2am:lab, a collaboration that acts as a test kitchen and think tank for aspiring chefs, paving the way for more individuals to enter the food industry.
2. Jamie Teo
What started out as a hobby became the inspiration behind Twelve Cupcakes, a chain selling cupcakes across Singapore. For the former Miss Singapore Universe and Mediacorp actress Jaime Teo, her love for baking is what pushes her to continuously innovate – since the start of the company, she has launched new flavours of cupcakes and various other desserts. This, coupled with ensuring consistent quality across all cakes produced has allowed the company to expand beyond its first outlet at United Square. Today, Twelve Cupcakes has its presence established across Asia, in regions such as Taiwan and Indonesia, and have their own catering business as well.
3. Lyn Lee
For the former lawyer, it was the dissatisfaction felt with her 9-5 job and an inability to find a good chocolate cake that drove her to come up with the Awfully Chocolate franchise. Where other businesses will rush to expand into overseas markets, she and her team adopted a more cautious approach, investing only what they could afford and expanding slowly only after careful consideration. She is fully aware of the significant barriers that deter more Singaporeans from becoming entrepreneurs and hence is especially keen to support her own staff who are similarly inclined. Ultimately, she believes that while ensuring profitability is necessary to maintain one’s business, it is more important to truly enjoy what your business is about.
4. Vannessa Lee
Vannessa Lee is a proponent for the age-old adage that age is but a number. Together with her brother, she has managed to open and sustain 2 F&B stores before the age of 25. The success of her venture rides upon her understanding of the power of social media marketing – on the opening day of A Poke Theory, her outlet sold out within the first two hours, thanks to snaking queues that had formed as a result of her teaser campaign aimed at building hype around the product. While the F&B industry is known to be competitive, Vannessa and her team are currently working on the possibility of expansion through franchising both locally and overseas.
5. Lena Sim
A tough childhood was no deterrent for Lena Sim, who juggled as many as 3 part-time jobs while in school to fund her expenses. It is this same tenacity and dedication that allowed her to convince the owners of Azabu, a Japanese dessert shop, to let her set up their franchises overseas. Armed with the experience in setting up and managing these outlets, she has since gone on to launch her own food chain of restaurants, aptly named the Ministry of Food (MOF). Lena exemplifies how one can utilize her past experience when becoming an entrepreneur – her previous stint as a trader with Morgan Stanley proved advantageous when coming up with business plans for both Azabu and MOF. Today, MOF spans different cuisines, expanding beyond its initial repertoire in Japanese fare.

To meet similar entrepreneurs and business owners, purchase tickets to our annual H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018 here.