Inclusivity in Marketing

By: Meredith Flory

Diversity is a term often used in workplace settings, referring to seeing or experiencing a wide range of human experiences and identities represented within a group of people. Marketing for many companies has become more diverse, in hopes of reflecting our communities better.

In fact, an oft-told celebrity story, such as in this 2021 CNN article, is how Meghan Markle wrote a letter to Proctor & Gamble as a child about how their marketing was aimed only at women and pointed out the sexism inherent in marketing cleaning supplies only to women. She has continued to work for women’s issues as an adult public figure.

Over the past few decades, consumers have witnessed a shift in marketing, with many household product companies increasing their diversity in advertising to reach beyond just white, suburban moms to anyone who might need these products for the home, with varying racial identities and family makeups being represented on screen.

While this is more in line with our society, it’s also good business sense to increase your customer base. But what’s the next step?


2023-10-01T22:49:05-04:00October 1st, 2023|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|


The Case for Common Courtesy

By: Heatherlynn Akins

Just a quick Google search for “business growth + business etiquette” results in page after page of sites dedicated to how important business etiquette is to grow your business successfully. Click on any site that comes up in that same search and no matter how it’s worded, it all boils down to this: If you want to succeed, you must practice common courtesy,

As GCFGlobal puts it, common courtesy is all about “adopt[ing] the ‘you’ attitude—consider[ing] others’ needs and feelings first.” Really, as small business owners, no matter what our industry is, we are in the business of customer service. If our clients don’t like us, we don’t retain them, and they don’t refer others to us. First impressions matter, as do second and third and twenty-third. By practicing common courtesy, we are creating a professional atmosphere that makes our clients feel respected and our employees feel heard and important—and that translates to business growth and success.

Though business etiquette changes given the times (especially given the technological advancements of recent decades), social mores, and culture, what remains timeless is treating others with dignity and respect. So, what are some easy things you can do to improve the common courtesy culture in your organization? Consider the following tips:


2023-06-25T19:28:07-04:00July 1st, 2023|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Etiquette for Event Facilitation

By: Meredith Flory

Putting on an event of any size is a giant undertaking for a business, particularly small businesses. Whether event facilitation is part of your business or you are creating an event for customer connection, professional networks, or philanthropic pursuits, there are sure to be a ton of moving pieces as the day approaches. From a small, one afternoon affair to a multiday conference, the event will represent your business both by how well things run and by how calm and professional you and your employees can stay under all the pressure. Here are three ways to show you respect everyone’s time and talents as you put on an event.

Stick to a Schedule

It’s important to be mindful of scheduling before and after a big event. It’s fairly easy to avoid popular holidays when planning but check for other possible conflicts. Major holidays for religious minorities are usually not federal holidays in America, but you may want to avoid them to show respect for your employees and guests. Also, are there other large events that may cause traffic issues in your city? Avoid dates for regional festivals and instead see how your business can play a part in those larger events. You will never avoid all scheduling conflicts for your audience, but working to avoid preventable ones is courteous and can help your event find more success.

Craft the schedule for the event thoughtfully. There are always unforeseeable challenges you cannot predict, but good planning will show you care for your participants’ time and help you keep calm when there are hurdles to work around. When planning, consider the following questions:

  1. Do guests have enough time in between sessions to get to each comfortably?
  2. Do you have capable emcees and moderators to keep speakers on task and on time?
  3. Is there a reasonable mix of time for speakers, interaction, rest, and networking?

 Treat Your Guest Speakers with Respect

Guest speakers at professional events are professionals themselves who deserve more compensation than exposure, whether the event is held locally or virtually or includes travel expenses. In particular, women and minority speakers often deal with not being compensated for their time and expertise. If you cannot afford a particular speaker’s fees, be professional and understanding if they say no, and if they choose to lower their fees or volunteer their time for a cause they feel passionate about, then show gratitude in other ways such as food and travel expenses, advertising, and reviews.

Make sure your communication with speakers is clear and concise. Be upfront about payment, expenses, scheduling, expectations, and any other details they need to make decisions and preparations for your event. If you are asking presenters to attend any tech rehearsals or meetings, make that clear during negotiations and have your team prepared to run each in a timely manner.

While unavoidable issues happen, your team needs to do their best to respect the time and talents of presenters and attendees. Make sure names and biographies are read correctly and assign a point person whom speakers can contact in case of any issues with timing and technology.

Work After the Event

Your event is not over at the end of the day. There are thank-you notes to send, invoices to pay, and feedback to collect and analyze. While you want to give your employees and volunteers time to relax and decompress afterward, in the days following the event, make sure to do any necessary follow-up while the event is fresh in people’s minds. Expressing thanks and listening to feedback in a timely manner will show that the success of the event was important to you and will provide important information when planning future events. Processing payments quickly will help you develop continuing relationships with vendors, locations, and speakers.

For more tips, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn this month!

2023-04-04T10:05:58-04:00March 9th, 2023|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Building Connections with Remote Clients

By: Meredith Flory

While a variety of factors have led businesses to be able to have both remote workers and remote clients, those relationships and teams still need to grow authentically and create connections that lead to long-term relationships. Whether you are providing a service or creating a product for your clients, there are some ways to use technology creatively and purposefully to make the miles separating you feel like much less.

Tailor communication to the client. Our ability to have remote clients is in part due to the amount of technology at our fingertips, but there are so many options, you need to play it smart in deciding which communication technologies work for you and your clients. If you use too many, it makes it easier for communication to be missed or misinterpreted. Find a video-calling, calendar, and shared document system that works for both you and your clients and stick to those resources. If you want to change what you are using, consider testing with a particular project or client who is open to new things before asking all your clients and employees to make the switch.

Be sure to maintain notes on your clients’ communication styles. Due to a myriad of factors such as age, type of project, comfort with technology, and needed accommodations, you may need to adjust. How you are handling internal communication channels matter as well. If multiple staff members are working with a client, they need to have a plan with each other so that they do not contradict one another or contact the client about the same issues simultaneously.


2023-03-20T21:22:30-04:00January 1st, 2023|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|


2022 Powerhouse 10-year anniversary retreat “Share the Goodness” workshop

Three Tips to Help Establish a Culture of Giving Within Your Business

By: Julia Maier

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill

Fact: Almost everyone needs to work or will work in their lifetime. If you’re lucky, that work is born out of a passion. A desire to help people, to make lives easier, or to share a gift or skill with the world. Take Powerhouse Founder and CEO Jessica Bertsch, for example. She has a passion for helping clients grow their businesses, but she also has a desire to make a difference outside of the office. So, she set a goal from the beginning to “Share the Goodness” and dedicate no less than 10% of annual revenue to making a difference in our communities and around the world. In time, as her company grows, so too will the impact they can have on the world. Being a fully remote company, Powerhouse has used service to bond as a team. What started as a holiday gift to staff in the form of a gift card to buy their holiday turkey transitioned into asking employees which organizations mattered to them and then donating to those charities. While this level of involvement may not be feasible for larger companies, it does provide proof that no matter where you are you can give back to the world if you find creative ways to get your team involved. Here are a few ways to foster a culture of giving in your company.


2023-03-20T21:24:34-04:00October 1st, 2022|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|


Investing in Relationships: Building Connections as an Entrepreneur

By: Meredith Flory

There comes a point in most small business owners’ journey where they have a clear idea or plan for a successful business decision, but they lack the capital. Sometimes the clearest plan of action is to obtain a small business loan or work toward accruing savings, but other times finding investors might be a possible way forward. However, asking for money is almost always an awkward and uncomfortable experience. There are some etiquette rules and paths toward forging connections that can make the experience better. The following are three ways to build a foundation to attract investors to support your business.

  1. Build business relationships. Any small business owner or entrepreneur needs to develop a network of relationships in the community: people ahead of you in business who can act as mentors, friendships with other small business owners, and community leaders to grow your opportunities for partnerships. You can start building these relationships at any point in the business ownership process—even with just an idea. Join a local leadership cohort, business course, or meeting series. Volunteer with a nonprofit organization that pairs community leaders with volunteer opportunities. And if you are already in business, make sure to grow your relationships with authenticity and respect. Any of these avenues might lead to introductions with possible investors and demonstrate that you are an enjoyable and trustworthy person to work with.
  2. Have a clear plan. A great idea is only the first step to starting or growing a business. To move forward, and to interest investors, you need a clear plan. Possible investors need clear points about your big idea. You must be able to present clearly what you need: Is this ask for product development, staffing, or operating space and budget? You need to be prepared to explain the specific numbers of what you need and the possible return on investment. While things might change as you progress, estimates for the projected timeline, milestones, and applications of funding are essential parts of the ask. A summary of research you’ve done, explaining the niche you are fulfilling, possible risks, and ways to market and sell your product, can prepare you ahead of time to answer investor questions. Need support? Powerhouse Planning can help with your planning with our business growth.
  3. Seek advice over money. With investors comes a possible sharing of control, yes. But investors also offer the opportunity for guidance from more experienced entrepreneurs and people in your field. When you are first starting out, or you’re at a crossroads in your small business, consider asking those with more experience or success for advice rather than money. Ask for a meeting to go over your business plan, or work toward developing a mentorship relationship with someone in entrepreneurship whom you admire. Share your idea, plan, or problem and ask for advice on a way forward. They may give you advice that doesn’t feel helpful, but they might also identify a way to be supportive as a business partner, a contract worker for a particular skill set, or connections to possible investors. Perhaps they even may be interested in investing themselves.

Focusing on relationships and building a solid foundation first will help you attract investors at the point you need them and set yourself up as a competent and resourceful person to work with.

For more information, tips, and tricks, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and check out some of our resources and blog articles.

2022-07-07T11:18:18-04:00July 1st, 2022|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|



Events with Heart: The Kelly Principles

By: Nicole Keeny

“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”
– Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail

Meg Ryan may just be a business maverick. Okay, not Meg Ryan herself, but the character she plays in the movie You’ve Got Mail—Kathleen Kelly. Here is this young woman who finds herself fighting to keep her children’s bookshop afloat when a large bookstore chain moves into the neighborhood. A classic David and Goliath scenario.

Now, if you have seen this movie, you are probably thinking, Wait a minute. She lost that fight. Goliath won. How exactly do you want to hold her up as a successful business example?

Because she teaches us that business is personal. Because she shows the big corporation that small, intentional acts of hospitality are what set businesses apart and turn consumers into lifelong customers. Because she demonstrates that business is not merely a matter of checklists but rather a matter of heart.

And Kathleen Kelly has a thing or two to teach us about hosting events, no matter what size or scale they may be.


2022-03-01T10:32:35-05:00March 31st, 2022|Business Etiquette, PowerTips e-newsletter|