I recently read a Fast Company article about how to use social media for business. The author concedes these platforms are “noisy” and can be “daunting,” but she also suggests some helpful ways to make it all work. Here are a couple tips on how to bring your biz or your personal brand into the digital limelight: Participate in Twitter chats. Google “Twitter chats” with an area of interest or your industry, and get to tweeting. Participate in Facebook groups to promote your business page. Groups are all the rage now, y’all, and they offer a dedicated digital space where like-minded folks like to chill and support one another. Think of it as Networking 101 brought into the tech age.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 5 Years
So, you’re starting a business. You had the idea in January and expected to see some results by July. Now it’s the end of the year and you’re looking back at your naivety with disgust and a pinch of humor. But, girl, you got this. You’ve got this because half of the population needs you to succeed. In fact, in an ongoing study of female founders, only 17 percent of venture-backed businesses reported having a female founder—a statistic that has pitifully been the same for the past five years.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Karla Friede, Founder and CEO of Nvoicepay
Part of the challenge of being a startup queen is that you play a lot of roles in the beginning. You’re the social-media expert, bookkeeper, head of HR and so on. Once your business grows, you’ll add suppliers, but you also add another job for yourself: paying those people!
Thankfully, Karla Friede started Nvoicepay to tackle this ordeal. When you ship something internationally through, say, FedEx, you enter the destination, pay a fee and can track the package along the way. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works when you pay your supplier with a paper check, which at least half of U.S. companies still use. Your payment seems to obliterate into a black hole for an undetermined period of time until the supplier confirms receipt or hollers, “Hey, where’s my money?” days or even weeks after you sent the check.
Here’s how Karla’s company cleans up the inefficient mess: Nvoicepay reduces costs for businesses by forgoing paper checks. Paper checks are annoying for both the business owner and the supplier. Instead, Nvoicepay seizes on technology by offering cloud-based, secure payments to and from suppliers. The result equates to a 75 percent cost reduction, as it totally eliminates the costs associated with mailing and processing paper checks. Also, since business owners aren’t spending all that time buried in accounts-payable paperwork, relying instead on Nvoicepay’s automated-flow payment resources, businesses can run more efficiently and are better prepared for growth.
With more than two decades of experience in management, finance and marketing positions, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, Karla clearly knows her stuff, and is often referred to by those who have worked with her as “insightful” and “highly skilled.”
This knowledgeable lady is more than happy to share what she’s learned in her many years in the business world, offering her five tips for female tech founders looking for funding. First, she says, target firms that have female partners, as they’re more likely to invest in women-led businesses. Next, target firms that are in your market. Make sure to show some positive results while also remaining authentic to your brand and vision. Lastly, show investors the emotional side through real customer reactions, such as a video of focus-group responses to your product. But most importantly, Karla says, “Get out and pitch!”
QUITE THE QUOTE
We’re sure Karla Friede would agree with tech entrepreneur Alexandra Chong, who said:
“Build something you’re passionate about. As an entrepreneur, you have to have the passion and drive to stay the course.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.