Saturday, October 29, 2011

TOP 10. wrap-up of the week

I loved my week.... but it just reinforces how determined you need to be to be a master of your own destiny and make it happen. So what did happen?

1. Intern Fruition! I have had over 25 application for my position i posted last week, the quality of the application is beyond belief. Smart, happy, keen, talented mostly ladies willing to gain experience to move forward. My first is starting on Tuesday, a second on wednesday, with several more in the pipeline if required. An instant team - woohoo, people to talk to, create with, share dreams with.... be motivated by and 'teach'. People really do make the world go round.....when you work at home by yourself it is a team & support environment you miss most, that's why you have to build one...but not loose your flexibility, and space. They working tues / wed when i do.

2. Breakfast Outing: I went to The American Club on tuesday to hear Naomi from Red Balloons speak,......huge effort, got into the city at 7.30am (don't forget i have a 3&4 year old and hubby who is out the door at 7am) . Liana who is on the Table of Fabulousness had organised the event (does the clubs mktg 2 days a week) and had spoken about it being a great place to join - to work form (full office facilities), meet like minded, have meetings. What a fabulous spot with views over the Botanical Gardens and down the harbour....for <$1000 pa and benefits thrown in such as gym membership it would make a great PT office. It's conservative but very smart, well equipped and professional. But I don't think my new little team & I can move it.....bummer!

Whilst there I met Yolander Vega (CEO) from the Australia Woman's Chamber of Commerce  and Industry. She has organised a VIP survey for woman in business...please take 10mins of your time to do if you are in business.

3. Out & About: - met my long term friend Jane over a lunch (Spice Temple - delicious) who inspired and introduced me to the world of beauty, she has been living & working in American for the last 5 + years, it was so good to talk business, babies and beauty. I miss you so much...please come back.

4. Open Shed launch - Lisa Fox, another Table of Fab lady launched her biz Open Shed helping to bring the collaborative consumption movement to Australia. A dissatisfied lawyer turned entrepreneur has everything you need to make it work. Vision (great idea), determination, enthusiasm...  go see   and list your items that are sitting around your house and could be used. It was a fab night atop a city building (borrowed) with great cocktails (donated - Alexx and savvy social App rating stuff by Melanie of  Boom Vox from Customers Underground.  Very inspiring.

5. Christmas Party Invite: arrived in my IN-BOX so that we solopreneurs - early stage & start up can frock up and party in the city together at a tres special event with like minded & partners.  OMG ...i won't be at home celebrating by-my-self anymore. MORE LATER on this fab idea.

6. Table of Fabulousness - the little idea that sprouted out of need to meet like-minded is creating it's own wonderful energy.... i don't have time to manage what it is turning into but we are getting so much benefit something will happen! It is my FabTAb ladies that make me feel so good because they are there to provide feedback, create shortcuts, intro you to other great ladies and events and keep you buzzing on business.  There is now a Newcastle Table and Melbourne Table, the First Sydney Table has been closed (first 20 mix n'match),  the 'Second Sydney Table' will happen early next year. For info....go the our temporary online home

7. CMS (contact management system) - I know, this has been going on for what seems like ages now, but I am sooooo determined to organise and set up a streamlined system so information (contacts, files, conversations, pics, correspondence inc emails IN & OUT, subscriber mail outs from all devices & mediums) is at my (& my new little teams) fingertips no matter where we are.

I am overwhelmed by the number of people i am meeting (& will in the future seeing i have cut the middle men out of my supply chain), the email flow, facebook & twitter comments, messaging, subscribers etc so trying to stay on top of content, connection, opportunities is paramount ...I want to work SMARTER not LONGER.  Finally I have my 'shared' calendar and emails & tasks & files & most conversations & meetings & phone calls etc tied back to each e-contact card with all linkages (www, FB, twitter, what they do, where i met, categorisation etc for that person) instantly accessible....  And i can search, group and all these contacts (classified into subscribers, contacts, vendors opportunities, friends, PR etc) any which way I like, send group emails with personalised fields and in general, feel very organised. I have to say my Task list is looking very organised (not because i have done everything but because i know what i have to do!!)

 I still have a LOT of work to do out how to run team projects online, mail merge with documents in the cloud but it will be good enough for when my little team starts next week because we will be on the same page going in the same direction and not wasting time. Oh i do love this ..oh-so-affordable & accessible technology.

BTW - i am using Google Apps (business gmail & calendar, Solve360 other integrated Add-ons)

contact snap shot from Solve 360 

8. Collaborative PR Data Base - Again, I am overwhelmed by the support this 'online' world of business connections provides. I have numerous amazing lists of media contacts provided by collaborators - it will start taking shape (in the CMS system!!) next week with the arrival of first intern. This list is beyond anything i ever had at Luken & May ...and we were pretty good at PR/guerilla marketing!!!

9. Family Fun - we have been busy at home too making halloween pumpkins, planting tomatoes, snow peas and lettuce and falling out of trees!!

10. I have written too much already. Have a great weekend and apologies for breaking every rule in the blogging hand book with this post...but it is better than nothing!!!

ps - AND i finally got an iPad. Not that i have turned it on yet. Came via an online contact Lisa Messenger (custom publishers) who had a brand new (in box) one for sale for $500 v's $949 (3G 64gb)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Intern or 'work experience' position: learn hands-on how to run a small natural beauty biz!

Noticed my lack of posts? I am admitting I don't have enough time to cram everything into a 15hr working week when i keep mentoring new start up businesses AND accidentally create something called the Table of Fabulousness AND have to keep my word by sticking to a skinny startup budget AND take holidays with hubby & kids..... so, I need to "Supercharge" (tx Lee) my biz.

I'm thinking I have a lot to GIVE and SHARE on setting up and running a small business (solo/SME/pre kids and with kids) and you might like in exchange or know someone that would love to work FOC with me for a few months or on a project basis as an 'intern' or assistant to learn and get to top gear fast. If you've been in the corporate world with lots of departmental support (ie not jack of all trades) or away from the workforce for a while and don't know the ropes or want to work in the natural beauty industry then this could be ideal.

I am offering a chair & desk in my dedicated and tres comfy home office &/or virtual office if you can join me on a Tuesday &/or Wednesday working from 9.00 til 2.30 (kids hrs) on Sydney's lower north shore. BYO laptop. I have have everything else inc espresso machine! Alternatively, depending on the project and stage there -of, you can work virtually and we link up via skype. I write and give great references///providing you fit the bill! Start is asap.

There are a couple of the projects I have WIP at the moment:

1. making the business quick & nimble and positioned to run from the top of a mountain to cruising the high seas: this involves setting up an integrated CRM system to capture contacts from social media, PR, sales prospects, vendors and ensuring all components are in place - online file storage, template documents, task work-flow templates, mail merge systems (for letters, labels etc), newsletter templates, auto-responses. etc. Writing a simple manual to ensure correct ongoing use. The research on what tools to use is done, a tech support guru is available, it just getting it up and operating that's key.

2. Setting up PR: helping me pull together the data base (90% contacts on hand but need sorting & checking) designing and preparing the kit, targeting media, writing.

3. Beautifood blog: assisting me with recipe development, food profiles, nutrition and ingredient research, food styling, photography & videoing. Creation of newsletter and writing of copy for the Wordpress pages & forward posts.

4. Product development - of new cosmetic lines. Preparation of briefs, sourcing packaging & manufacturers, product specs, etc

The skill set is varied so it may take a couple of you to cover the current projects or one of you may like to multi-task and give it a go.  If you are interested contact me via email with why you want to work for luk beautifood / me and your experience or what you bring to the table.

I look forward to hearing from you. :)

Cindy (Luken)

Connect here....
home office - i know bit messy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

COLLABORATING to create a PR data base

Is anyone interested in collaborating to pull together a HOT data base of MEDIA contacts in Australia (sydney focus first) suitable for LIFESTYLE - fashion, food, woman, home/garden, health & wellbeing + BUSINESS - corporates, sols/ SME, woman + SOCIETY across magazines, inserts, networks, papers, radio, TV, digital?

I will scope out the project (with your input) and manage an outsourced 'data dog' to create a database that will provide us with data in format to input into your own CRM.

This request is URGENT to assist a solo startup retain her market leadership by defending an aggressive launch in her space by a 'minted' competitor!

Thinking that collaboration can take part 2 ways for you to get a copy of the complete one-off data base. (ie you have maintain / update once received)

1. provision of your existing data in an IMPORT FORMAT (however much you have)
2. provision of a small fee ($100 max / depends on collaboration uptake) to share the cost of funding the data entry. (i need to get quotes on cost of job)

We all know the need to have a FAB PR data base but the cost of time or the list is too great if you are starting from scratch. Close media relationships really work - I built Luken & May Biscuits to $5mio pa (w/s gsv) in 5 years using aggressive in-house managed guerilla marketing techniques using a brilliant data base we built up over years. (went to pasture!)

Anyone in? What do you think?

Look forward to hearing from you ASAP - Tx Cindy

Changes - new blog layout and I can't go back!

Sorry about the blog layout - i clicked a button to look at some new thing called "dynamic" viewing and lost my old design forever! Where the content has gone that use to live down the sidebar (links, archive, my goal, slideshare docs etc) is beyond me and what about my pic with Ciara....guess that can be added to my "about Cindy".

Oh well ....maybe it is time to migrate the whole thing to a few months tho. I have enough on my plate.  :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

back on deck

10 days away and the online world changes - doesn't really concern me besides the time I will waste re-learning how to make the most of it. Can already see that FB will be a very low priority this week, I have far more exciting things to do.....

1. Launch the beautiful cookbook INDULGE by Rowie Dillion where Gluten Free Food gets a Make-Over!!! It is sure to be a success, the recipes and photography are stunning. Not to mention the company she will keep in the HarperCollins stable...Donna Hay, Bill Granger!  Go girl. Feeling very honoured.

2. Keep working on my luk beautifood kitchen blog now that I have wrapped my head around how to use the Word Press Corona Template by Kreise. Whilst away and 'on the road' i doodled my way around copious pages of my notebook, can't wait to apply my thoughts, ideas and some content...and start working on design & copy for the 'Daily Juice' newsletter.  My 'kitchen' logo got designed too so i was quick to whip that one up last night. Very nice thanks Morganna. x

3. Most importantly - get over another packaging hurdle, we can't print exactly where we want the design to go on the stick so i am feeling very stymied. Glad i don't have an official launch date...I would be sacked by now. Sometimes it is nice to have an absolute deadline so that it HAS TO BE DONE NO MATTER WHAT. 

4. Ready myself for our next Table of Fabulousness - October 11th. Hmm, what to cook, discussion is easy - I just need to facilitate or rather time keep so everyones gets a share! Also need to sort out other tables as i have lots of 'newy's' that want to attend here in Sydney. 

5. CEO Round Table Dinner with Sara Lucas of Enrich me Melanie Kansil of Customer Underground and Stephanie Vilner of Party for a Cause .  I feel very grown up already - it is years since i have had a 'proper' business dinner (not counting our Tab of Fab lunches!) Really looking forward to meeting a couple of go-getting, biz savvy ladies. 

6. Prepare the detailed brief for Implementing Solve 360 CRM system into my hubby's business - that is  the easy bit, i fear teaching 5 'boaty' men to use it systematically as one weak link and the boat will sink. Well not quite but CRM systems are all about you guessed it ....using the system. 

7. Send out 12 little packages with a luk 'sample' lippy to my every 10th liker of luk beautifood FB page. 

In case you are wondering how i will tackle this IN the school holidays, the little ones are going to Nan Nans tomorrow for 2 nights of sleep over. The couple hr return drive will be bliss! WooHoo!