Money Smart Week Appeals To Women Entrepreneurs

By Susan Tompor Detroit Free Press

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Money Smart Week was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to bring together financial institutions, nonprofits and others to offer free financial education classes and events. The "FemPreneur" event for women will deal with how to start a business, market your products, manage finances and cash flow, and tackle juggling personal/professional priorities.

Detroit Free Press

As a leadership and business coach, Beki Fraser knows that many people -- including entrepreneurs -- like to jot down a pro/con list when they're trying to make an important decision.

What's the upside? What are the risks?

Who hasn't decided whether to take a job, sell a stock, choose a college or buy a dream home without tallying the pluses and the minuses?

But Fraser advises many people to stop thinking with an either/or mindset. Why not come up with a second or third option? If I decide not to make this move, is there another step or idea that might be attractive, too?

"It's no longer a problem. It's a puzzle," Fraser said.

This is the week to tackle financial puzzles. Money Smart Week, which runs through Saturday, has a long list of free workshops and seminars that can help people think of other options or find an unexpected solution to a problem. Read more:

Fraser, who launched her business called "Focus for Growth" in early 2015 and works out of her home in South Lyon, is a panelist at the Money Smart Week "FemPreneur" Summit. The summit will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday at the University of Phoenix campus at 26261 Evergreen Road in Southfield. The cost is $15, including a resource marketplace and lunch. Tickets are available via Eventbrite. The shortened URL is ow.ly/EVzZ30aFcLa.

Money Smart Week was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to bring together financial institutions, nonprofits and others to offer free financial education classes and events.

A snapshot of some other Money Smart Week events includes:

"How to be a better investor" from 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wayne County Community College at 8200 W. Outer Drive in Detroit. "Managing Your Healthcare Costs: Pre and Post-Retirement" from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library in Novi.

"Entrepreneurial Sales Education" will be offered to discuss how to start up, buy or franchise a business from 5-6 p.m. at the University of Phoenix at 26261 Evergreen in Southfield.

"Women & Wealth: Developing a Financial Recovery" from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of Phoenix campus in Southfield.

Event coordinators suggest going to www.moneysmartweek.org and scrolling to filter by topic. Click on "small business and entrepreneurship." For example, the Detroit Public Library Parkman Branch at 1766 Oakman Blvd. is hosting several small business, start-up and entrepreneurship events during Money Smart Week.

Kelly Masters, who runs Graceful Communications and is the chair of Michigan Money Smart Week, said the "FemPreneur" event is a takeoff on last year's "Mompreneur" Summit, which attracted about 60 people.

Many women who run businesses, of course, are not mothers so they might better relate to a "FemPreneur" Summit, Masters said.

The FemPreneur event will deal with how to start a business, market your products, manage finances and cash flow, and juggle personal and professional priorities.

Masters -- who calls herself a "chief-dot-connector" -- said women who run businesses or want to start businesses can benefit from networking to try to connect with the right people.

Many times, entrepreneurs are solopreneurs. Even so, they need to turn to the appropriate experts to deal some aspects of the business.

Heather Doering, also a panelist at the FemPreneur event, runs Ace In the Hole Branding and the IN3 Women's Network. IN3 stands for information, innovation, and inspiration for women business owners. The IN3 Network hosts meet up events to encourage women to network and offer one another ideas. Many of the events have been in Plymouth but Doering is looking to expand to other areas, including Ann Arbor.

Doering, who lives in Canton, said many times women start a business as a second career or they've been staying at home raising children and want to make money. Maybe they make a superb apple pie and decide it's time to sell it.

But she said some women can be intimidated by some aspects of running a business and they can benefit from networking with other women who worked through similar challenges.

Sometimes, entrepreneurs can use some advice on how to coordinate with other small businesses that share a similar target market.

Doering said she often works with small-business clients on how to build their brand on social media. It's not all about offering a special sale price or telling someone why you need their service.

What you want to do, she said, is relate to your potential customers. One of her clients, Elizabeth Sisk, a chiropractor in Plymouth, regularly posts recipes and weekend events that are going around Plymouth via social media. That type of information is more likely to be shared, Doering said.

"It's all about your audience," Doering said.

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