Discover key strategies for scaling women-owned enterprises in the debut episode of ‘Chatting with the Experts’ TV Show. Nanette Thélémaque, a seasoned entrepreneur shares insights and offers strategies for growing female-led businesses. Some topics covered were: entrepreneurial resilience, strategic planning, marketing, financial management, and strategic alliances.
During the interview, Nanette shares her professional journey, highlighting her skills, resilience, and continuous learning. She then offers tips on how to scale women-owned businesses, touching on planning, marketing, financial challenges, management, and the importance of strategic alliances. Furthermore, she emphasizes the need for adaptability, consistency, professional development, and maintaining a balance between work and personal life. In the end, she recommends small businesses to seek expert advice, maintain stability, leverage collaboration, implement data collection and analysis tools, and stay updated with market trends to maintain growth and success
Click on the time-stamp below to listen to those exact words being spoken at that time on this episode
[01:09] Guest Introduction: Nanette Thélémaque
[01:27] Nanette’s Career Journey and Expertise
[02:54] Discussion on Scaling Women-Owned Businesses
[05:19] Understanding Business Landscape and Market Trends
[06:37] Knowing Your Target Market and Importance of Research
[08:13] Financial Health and Importance of Budgeting
[09:33] Operational Efficiencies and Building a Team
[12:05] Sales and Marketing Strategy
[12:58] Corporate Business Culture in Small Businesses
[15:15] Collaboration and Data Collection for Business Growth
How To Scale Your Business
[00:00:00] Introduction and Welcome
[00:00:00] Paula: Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to Chatting with the Experts TV show. This is my very first episode of Chatting with the Experts. Today I have a special guest because I’m not going to be doing this solo. I’m going to have a guest on. So I’m going to tell you all about my guests. We’re going to be talking about how to scale your woman owned business.
[00:01:09] Guest Introduction: Nanette Telemach
[00:01:09] Paula: My guest’s name is Nanette Telemach and she is an. accomplished entrepreneur and a passionate advocate for small businesses. She’s a woman whose dedication to both professional and personal growth is truly inspiring. Nanette started her journey with small startups. In the dawn of the dot com era, fervently honing her skills in roles that range from channel sales manager to a strategic alliance manager.
[00:01:44] Paula: Faced with the dot com bubble burst in 2000, she demonstrated impeccable reliance using that phase to chart out a promising new career path. Nanette’s Career story is one of grit, adaptability, and constant evolution. Her journey outlines her staunch commitment to her personal and professional life, making her an empathetic and experienced pillar in the world of entrepreneurship.
[00:02:18] Paula: I’m excited to have Nanette here today to share her valuable experience, her insights and advice, which undoubtedly stems from her journey of skill building, resilience and continuous learning. She’ll be talking about how to scale women owned businesses. So let’s give a warm welcome to Nanette Telemac.
[00:02:44] Paula: Hello, Nanette. Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m so excited to have you on.
[00:02:50] Nanette: I’m excited to be here. Thank you for asking me.
[00:02:54] Discussion on Scaling Women-Owned Businesses
[00:02:54] Paula: Sure, So I introduced you as a solopreneur and I know that you have been in the solopreneur business for a few years. So that’s why you want to talk about how to scale businesses, particularly emphasis on women owned businesses, correct?
[00:03:13] Nanette: Correct.
[00:03:15] Paula: All right. So let’s do that.
[00:03:19] Nanette: That sounds great to me. Let’s get started.
[00:03:22] Paula: All right.
[00:03:26] Nanette: So, first of all, when we talk about scaling and let’s get the biggest risks and challenges is lack of planning. failed marketing, financial challenges, poor management, lack of systems and processes. The idea is that small business must deal with many risks and challenges affecting their growth and success to overcome these challenges is essential for small businesses.
[00:03:54] Nanette: Small business owners to have a solid business plan and seek expert advice like SBA and SCORE and, SBDC which is small business development centers and places like that. And they must stay flexible and, adjust to changes in circum in their circumstances if you stay proactive and responsive, these obstacles.
[00:04:18] Nanette: are the key to avoiding these obstacles, the key to success and growth. Okay. All right. And when we talk about scaling businesses, we should talk about what that means. And it’s really setting the stage to enable and support growth in your business. It means. Having the ability to grow without being hampered, and we all are hampered trying to run our business every day, and it requires planning and funding and the right systems, staff and processes and technology and partners.
[00:04:54] Paula: and you mentioned something here about profit margins. I’m reading through your notes here. And yeah, sometimes a small business owners, we forget that apart from wanting to help people, we’ve got to make a profit in order to be there to help people. Right? Right.
[00:05:09] Nanette: And that’s an uncomfortable thing when you have to, when you try to work with getting your profit margins, right.
[00:05:14] Nanette: You know, but it’s something that women have to do, is the uncomfortable part.
[00:05:19] Understanding Business Landscape and Market Trends
[00:05:19] Nanette: So to scale your business, you have to understand your business landscape. you have, you, and, what that means is, research. Okay. Researching to the industry that you’re selling into. So you have to know market trends.
[00:05:36] Nanette: You have to, do market analysis. understanding your business is crucial. and it provides valuable insights into your environment in which you’re doing business. and the purpose is to help you make informed decisions about the direction and strategies of your business. And it allows you to identify and mitigate potential risks and challenges.
[00:06:01] Nanette: Proactively, because if you’re not paying attention to the market trends, you could be trying to sell to somebody who’s not an industry or business that’s not buying at that time. So what do you do? And, it helps you identify opportunities and gain a competitive edge. So really, it’s providing an effective foundation for effective strategic planning, which people.
[00:06:27] Nanette: Tend to just, looking at the aesthetics of their business, their logos, the website, but they’re not really paying attention to those kind of details. And those are crucial for growth.
[00:06:37] Paula: Okay, about know now talk about knowing your target market.
[00:06:41] Nanette: Exactly. So research is the key. So the key steps and considerations in the bill in understanding your business landscape is again, the research analysis and adaptability.
[00:06:54] Nanette: So small businesses should be should use this understanding as a foundation for the scaling strategies and regularly visit and update it as markets tend to evolve. We know our business and markets are dynamic. They’re not static. And so if you’re not paying attention and being aware of changes, you’re going to get, you find yourself in a bad place.
[00:07:15] Nanette: And it’s not ideal for, scaling and financial
[00:07:19] Nanette: health.
[00:07:19] Paula: I’m going to stop you at one point. You talk about doing market training. Now who does the research for you? Is that something that we have to do? Should we encourage people to, get help if they need it?
[00:07:29] Nanette: I encourage them to get help. look, we’re running our business.
[00:07:33] Nanette: We’re trying to grow it. And to do those kinds of. Detail, research, hire someone, hire a freelancer who loves research, who does research for you, go on Fiverr and go on Upwork. And I wouldn’t suggest doing that for building, important aspects of your, brand identity because it’s a hit and miss.
[00:07:56] Nanette: And I think there’s risks. And pitfalls in doing that. But in terms of this kind of stuff, yes, they can do the research for you and then you can make you, the decisions about the strategic planning of your business based on the research that they gather for you.
[00:08:11] Paula: Okay. That’s great to know.
[00:08:13] Paula: Okay.
[00:08:13] Importance of Financial Health and Operational Efficiency
[00:08:13] Paula: Let’s talk now about the financial
[00:08:14] Paula: health. I know.
[00:08:15] Nanette: That’s the part that’s the hardest for women, right? Because I don’t want to see what my, I don’t want to see what my cashflow, but that’s. The oxygen of your business, knowing your cash flow is really important for your profitability.
[00:08:31] Nanette: some tips for managing your small business include, your own, but your own, budget, what you have in your bank account and family and friends could help with funding or you can go to the banks if you need to. But, Be strategic about how you spend your money. so in terms of, what, technology you want to have, you want to schedule paying all your vendors, all your any team members that you have, because, you want to get that out of the way first, because then you know what you have left.
[00:09:05] Nanette: And then you can strategize proactively on what you need to help scale your business. So, and if you’re like me and hate math, Then get yourself a bookkeeper or a financial advisor. It’s really an investment to your growth and it’s worth doing.
[00:09:21] Paula: I was just about to ask you about that. a financial advisor, a good accountant, a bookkeeper, all are really necessary
[00:09:30] Nanette: It really is. It’s, it’s, the only way to grow. And then, operational efficiencies, um, how, The thing that people need to realize is, you have to reduce your waste of resources like your time. So don’t work in your business. That may require getting a VA to help do the tasks that you really just don’t have the time and effort to do if you want to grow your business.
[00:09:55] Nanette: Your time needs to be spent. Networking and promoting, and planning strategic planning. that’s important.
[00:10:07] Building a Team and Corporate Culture
[00:10:07] Nanette: And then, and that falls into building a team. again, we talked about Fiver, or, Upwork for creating your brand. I would be really hesitant to do that because the purpose of building a team, is that they have, they work with you in a continual basis.
[00:10:27] Nanette: They know who you are. They know your voice. They know your brand. And they can offer suggestions that, going to a platform like Upwork and Fiverr can’t do. They’re just going to do what you ask. And it’s a hit and miss in terms of their experiences.
[00:10:42] Paula: So I like that point because, a lot of small business owners, they think, okay, right.
[00:10:48] Paula: As you say, they start and then the tech may come, maybe a big part of the, things they struggle with. So they go straight away to Fiverr or Upwork. But what you’re saying is. That may be necessary at the beginning, but as you continue to grow, it’s important that you have a team that understands you, shares the same vision with you, and can work with you.
[00:11:14] Nanette: Right, right. And they have skill sets that maybe you don’t have that they can offer so yes. And seeing the big picture of your vision and goals. And the technology and systems also look at your, what are you using? Are they integrated? Do they work well together in terms of automation? technology and systems is something you want to evaluate.
[00:11:38] Nanette: And again, you could use a VA to look at the different knowing what your needs are, CRM, email marketing, platforms, they can tell you, or investigate for you what is in your budget, what would work based on your business, and, then from there you can make a decision that fits within your, budget.
[00:12:00] Paula: Great. Great to know that. All right. What else?
[00:12:05] Sales and Marketing Strategy
[00:12:05] Nanette: and then the biggest thing for me is of course, cause I’m a marketer, is sales and marketing strategy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked my clients when they first come in, what’s your vision? What’s your, brand identity? What, I mean, they can give a vague, idea and what’s your target market?
[00:12:23] Nanette: Well, sort of everybody. And you’re like, you don’t want to, everybody means nobody. so you want to focus on a niche. market, you want to really know the demographics of your target market. You want to have a clear message who, of what your business is about, because you’re trying to explain to somebody why they would want to come to you as opposed to your competitor.
[00:12:45] Nanette: What makes you unique, your value proposition. so really what that to me is, so critical besides everything else that I talked about, that’s critical. That’s really critical. Having a strong brand identity. And then I put in co your corporate business culture because it’s not a culture of a bus of a business.
[00:13:07] Nanette: It’s not just for corporations. This is for everybody. I’m a solo. I was a solopreneur before I brought on about nine now team members that helped me deal with, give services to my clients and I, decided I had to decide what was I going to relay to them in terms of what I, my culture, what I’m trying to build in my business.
[00:13:29] Nanette: And so I really focused on collaboration. I’m not hiring them to be taskers. I’m hiring them for their expertise. And I. And I value it. And so that’s the culture that I built and that helps my business grow. And
[00:13:44] Paula: I like that.
[00:13:45] Nanette: Yeah. So that’s, those are the things that you really need to, focus on and concentrate and get down.
[00:13:52] Nanette: because that’s going to be how you promote yourself. That’s going to be your content and the messaging that you’re bringing out to the target markets, the people you want to come to you. So really requires some, deep thought. And don’t neglect that.
[00:14:06] Paula: I want us to talk a little bit about that more about that.
[00:14:09] Paula: Why I say so is because initially when I heard you say corporate culture, I thought, about the corporation. And, most of us are small business owners we are women owned small business owners. So, you are saying in other words that the corporate culture can be part of a small business. What part of your plan, part of your Identity, because you’re not looking to, it’s not necessary for big corporations.
[00:14:36] Paula: But even a small business owner can ensure that they have the right team members, that work together fluidly, so that your mission and your vision can be accomplished. That’s what I’m hearing.
[00:14:49] Nanette: Exactly, exactly. That’s exactly it. And it just opens up a whole world for you because, again, you don’t know everything.
[00:14:57] Nanette: And, you may know what your mission is and your goals and plans, but you don’t know how to achieve them sometimes and they can give you another viewpoint that could add value to, to, and help you scale.
[00:15:10] Paula: I love it. What else do you have for us?
[00:15:14] Nanette: Oh, let’s see. other, keys of scaling and things that you need to, think about and incorporate is collaboration.
[00:15:22] Nanette: I, was a strategic alliance person, in my day, in the day, for small startups. And, my goal, and my mission was to find complementary products or services that we could. wrap together and sell to target markets. So they were complimentary businesses that I would look for that add value to our products and we could sell to market.
[00:15:50] Nanette: And so it’s the same thing with small businesses. think about your networking people that you’re with, you maybe, you know, somebody who has something that could add value to you and you work together to scale your business. So think about that. also most importantly is. implement data collection and analysis tools.
[00:16:10] Nanette: You need to gain insight on what’s going on, what’s working in your, with your goals, your campaigns and what’s not, because you could be, you don’t want to be throwing, wet toilet paper on the wall and hoping it sticks, you don’t want to keep doing that. So you want to see I’m going to do this email marketing campaign.
[00:16:28] Nanette: Now I want to see what kind of results I have. And this allows you to tweak. And, instead of just working, working, all, you know, doing these things that you think work, social media, whatever, but you’re not looking at what results you’re getting. And then the end of the year, you have nothing to show for it.
[00:16:44] Nanette: that to me is, not work. And that’s where it comes into finding a third party expert in marketing, somebody, and you don’t, you could bring in some, A freelance marketer who can, help you and guide you in terms of doing these things again. You don’t want to be in your business.
[00:17:03] Nanette: You want to be working on your business and your expertise is, I know my mission. I know. My brand and I know how to speak to it. So I’m going to go to these networking events and I’m going to work with my, my marketing VA to plan out, my messaging and what I’m in the talk to the target markets that I want to sell my business to.
[00:17:28] Nanette: That’s what you want to be doing. You don’t want to be in there doing the marketing, the actual implementation yourself. and then exercise adaptability and flexibility and that’s just the mindset because it’s so easy for us that something doesn’t work and you freeze, right? And oh my God what am I going to do?
[00:17:48] Nanette: And but, so learning to any mistake you make is a learning opportunity. So relax.
[00:17:55] Paula: Say that again, Nanette, because we tend to look for, as women, we want to be perfect. We want to be perfect. We, we’ve been socialized to. Try and be, especially if you have a family, try and bring up your children so they’re the best citizen.
[00:18:08] Paula: Try and make sure that everything goes right at home. And so we bring that to our business, businesses as well. Yeah. Can you focus on that a little bit more saying every mistake is a learning opportunity.
[00:18:21] Nanette: Okay. Exactly. It’s a learning experience. And, it’s okay if you fail, what you want to do is be able to pivot, so if you’re paying attention to everything we talked about before, the market trends, your targeted marketing.
[00:18:35] Nanette: Watching your analysis and data and seeing if things are working, then you’re able to be flexible and adaptable to change when you need to change. And, as I said before, we don’t know everything, but definitely, continue educating yourself. For me, in my line of work, which is marketing, I’m constantly…
[00:18:58] Nanette: Taking online courses on social media because that changes every day, and email marketing campaigns and what works best and content writing. Not that I’m doing it because I have a team that can do it, but I want to know so I can, when I’m speaking to my clients, I’m the front end of my clients.
[00:19:18] Nanette: I understand what I’m talking about. and I know the new fangled thing, and this is even worth that client doing it because maybe it doesn’t fit their, business model, like AI and what that means, so I’m constantly training myself. And then the last thing is be consistent, don’t.
[00:19:40] Nanette: Say, oh, I have this great idea, and then two months later, you, there’s nothing, you need to be consistent with your business and, how you run your business. You have to look at the overall big picture and your, and review your plans and your, goals. Your long term as well as your short term to see, are you on the right track?
[00:20:01] Nanette: Is this working? Don’t get so involved. in your business, in it, where you’re not looking at the big grand scheme of things. Cause that’s, not going to help you scale.
[00:20:15] Paula: Wow. Wow. Okay. All right.
[00:20:17] Maintaining Business Stability
[00:20:17] Paula: So there’s still more maintained.
[00:20:19] Nanette: actually it’s just, um, how to maintain your business stability, keep, and this is just an overview of what we all, we just talked about keeping up with changes and consumer demands, really ask your.
[00:20:32] Nanette: Your client’s questions, that’s how you’re going to know if you’re on track to what you’re doing is, working, focus on providing the best services to your clients. So if you’re struggling to keep up with the demands your clients are giving you or the products that you’re selling, then you need to bring somebody in because, they’re going to help you with your existing customer base.
[00:20:56] Nanette: So you can. Maximize, the best services possible and always pay attention to your cash flow and always think about putting something aside for that, risk that may come up there. Turbulent times. And so you never know what’s going to happen. If you’re not doing that, you’re going to put yourself and your business and in jeopardy, prepare for the future.
[00:21:17] Nanette: Always think about the future. How’s my five year goal plan? Has it changed? am I pivoting to something else? And Always, think about building a team before you actually are struggling, do it before then. That’s an investment of your time, which is time is money. And so that’s taking that away and giving it to them.
[00:21:40] Nanette: I had the hardest time delegating, letting go of this and, I’m so glad I did because These people are awesome. They’re awesome. And I appreciate them and tell them every day, that I how much I appreciate them. And all that does is stimulates them into thinking what’s best for my company, what better way, that’s just excellent, for me, allows me to grow.
[00:22:05] Nanette: So manage your time and your work life balance. That’s really
[00:22:12] Paula: okay. After you talk about that, there’s a question that I have for you. Okay. Okay. So you talked about, finding a team that works. How do you go about finding that team? Because I know that’s a big problem from a lot of small business owners.
[00:22:28] Paula: Where do you even start?
[00:22:30] Nanette: Right, right. There are so many, organizations like VA networking, that, and, freelance you, which has, people who are trained by them on how to be good VAs. And so those are places that you could look what I when I was starting out. I was a part of those groups because event.
[00:22:50] Nanette: I had started out being a VA, but now I’m a marketer because that’s what everybody seemed to want it. So that’s where I focus on and I have a sales and marketing background. But in the beginning, I got to know these awesome, men and women who were VAs and had specialized skills, some social media, some in web design.
[00:23:09] Nanette: And I got to know them and I started asking them to, this is before I needed them. I built a Google forum, asking what do they like to do? What are their expertise? What do they hate doing? So that I, if I need them, I can reach out to them and say, Can we work together? Can I, will you be willing to work with me as a subcontractor?
[00:23:32] Nanette: And I have a nice pool network people that I can go to when I need to expand my business by bringing on somebody.
[00:23:41] Paula: I love that. All right. Okay, great. Sorry. So I interrupted you because I was going on in my mind. Okay. So you talk about now managing your time and work life balance. That’s right.
[00:23:54] Nanette: That’s hard. Isn’t it? It is. because, but you have to try to do that. You have to be able to set aside time for yourself during the day. I break off, my Thursdays as my time, whether I’m, going over my, strategy, my business plan, or, or, deciding what I need to know or research.
[00:24:21] Nanette: Train myself on. That’s my day. And, so I use that for that. But during the day when I’m working, I stopped for breaks. You have to do that or you’re not going to, you’re just going to burn out and you don’t want to get to that part. And, one thing I want, people to take away is that please plan thoroughly before executing any plan, make sure it’s going to work, make sure you’ve You know, research, had someone research for you.
[00:24:52] Nanette: So you, you know that the good chance, the chance of it being successful will be there for you and keep up with your professional development. that’s key.
[00:25:02] Paula: That is key. Keep up with your professional development.
[00:25:06] Nanette: Exactly, um, it just makes you even, better at what you can give. So that’s really my presentation.
[00:25:15] Nanette: It’s, I know it’s fast, but, and there’s a lot there, these are all so important if you want to scale.
[00:25:22] Paula: Yeah. I love what you have here. a quote by Winston Churchill, success is not final. No, it’s not. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts
[00:25:34] Nanette: exactly. And believe me, I’ve been pivoting a lot.
[00:25:36] Nanette: I did pivot a lot in my, time. So I understand that. And you can’t be afraid of it. You just pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start all over again.
[00:25:47] Paula: And as you said earlier, any mistake, anything that you, anything that happens, really, you can learn from it. It’s a learning opportunity. It’s a learning experience.
[00:25:57] Paula: It’s something that we can use to not just build ourselves, but to build those that we work with, our clients that we work alongside, because the mistakes we make are probably going to be a mistake that they will have as well.
[00:26:08] Nanette: Exactly.
[00:26:10] Nanette: Yeah, exactly.
[00:26:11] Paula: All right.
[00:26:12] Contact Information and Show Closing
[00:26:12] Paula: So, Nanette, where can people find you online if anyone I mean what you just all the nuggets you gave us is so good.
[00:26:20] Paula: I know that you know these are things that people would like to find out a little bit more so where can you be found online.
[00:26:28] Nanette: Yes. my, businesses isinessencebusinesssolutions.
[00:26:32] Paula: In essence, business solutions. com and everything about you. wherever you can be contacted is right there on your website.
[00:26:46] Nanette: Yes. I talk about, strategy. these, this, these points is really what I. Tell clients that come to me. I go over it because a lot of times they come to me because they want social media management or they want email campaigns. But before I do that, I have to know them. I have to know what their vision and their brand identity is.
[00:27:11] Nanette: I have to understand their voice because I’m not going to do them justice if I don’t. And sometimes I find That’s not very clear and so before I want to waste their money, their time, my, my time is we need to find that out. That’s going to be important first.
[00:27:30] Paula: Thank you so much, my mantra is that I learn every day.
[00:27:34] Paula: Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new. And quite a few points that you made in the slide, I am aware of, but I’ve learned a lot more from you. Thank you for being, saying yes to being on my very first episode.
[00:27:50] Nanette: Thank you for inviting me.
[00:27:53] Paula: Absolutely. And, before we, go, I do want to, everyone to know that, come on.
[00:28:03] Paula: This, my show is going to be on every Wednesday at 1 p. m. Eastern. I’d love for more people to join me. I love more women to join me for women to come on and share their expertise and everything that they have learned so far in their business, because we, grow by teaching we grow by encouraging others to learn, and what, better way to do that than to be on line in this case is a TV show and let your expertise be one that people can grow from.
[00:28:45] Paula: So just before we go off.
[00:29:20] Paula: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to all who were my guests today and to all who are planning to be guests on chatting with the experts, please just reach out to me on my website, which is. chattingwiththeexperts.com, go to the contact page and let me know if you’d like to be a guest. Thank you all for joining.