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December 3, 2008

Susan Atkisson Named Women TIES Woman Entrepreneur of the Week.

Many women entrepreneurs have heard of the expression "thinking outside of the box," but many haven't heard the expression "thinking outside of the cup" until today. Susan Atkisson of Java-Gourmet and Keuka Lake Coffee Roasters trademarked that tagline when she grew her business from an average coffee roasting business to a unique coffee company which now offers over 20 coffee-based specialty foods.

When this smart woman entrepreneur realized she had to be innovative to sustain and grow her business, she remembered a California restaurant, years before she relocated to the East coast, who used coffee's culinary attributes of being a natural flavor enhancer on a steak. With an inventive spirit, Susan launched a new product line to her coffee roasting business. This innovative product line combined with her persistent marketing efforts helped grow her company into a very profitable business in three years.

In today's world, it is about "thinking outside of the cup" when it comes to sustaining and growing a business. New products or services can build additional revenue streams for an existing business to help it stay afloat, expand or create new niches in the marketplace. Our businesses must evolve to stay fresh and new while at the same time our core principles and products must remain solid and strong. Like anything else in life, it's about focusing on our strengthens while taking risks at the same time.

Today's Wednesday Wisdom is meant to inspire you to "think outside the cup." Grab a hot cup of java and take fifteen minutes to write down five quick ideas that might give your business a caffeine buzz in 2009.

In entrepreneurial spirit,

Tracy Higginbotham President, Women TIES


"When you create a new product line, you might find your current clients aren't interested in the new product. Sometimes you have to seek out and obtain national media attention to convince your current clients and local market that you have something valuable to sell. National media attention can change your corporate perception to benefit your company. Push hard to gain some national media attention," stated today's Woman of the Week Susan Atkisson at yesterday's Greater Penn Yan Holiday Sales Showcase.

Thirty women benefited from her words of advice at yesterday's Women TIES Greater Penn Yan Holiday Sales Showcase at the beautiful Esperenza Mansion in Bluff Point, New York. Not only did they learn nine important success strategies to elevate their business to new levels of success, they also experienced the power of the dollar as they bought from each other and created new collaborative partnerships to begin the New Year. There is definitely power in attending events and it was evident yesterday.

Susan Atkisson, President of Java-Gourmet and Keuka Lake Coffee Roasters, shared excellent advice with attendees. Her success strategies are definitely worth reading!

Susan's Success Strategies:

 Entrepreneurs must be able to tolerate risk and take many risks to start and grow their businesses. It is an essential part of being in business. It is also important to be persistent and stubborn with your desires to succeed.

 The only way to grow a business is to force yourself to go out and sell. You must put yourself on the line if you are going to increase revenue and make more money.

 Pay attention to what is happening in your industry nationally and globally. When promoting the "local food industry and buy locally programs" became popular Keuka Lake Roasters was able to capitalize on promoting and selling their home grown products more extensively. Keep your eyes and ears open to the buzz in your local region and take advantage of all marketing opportunities.

 Create a tagline that is catchy and then trademark it and use it on all your marketing materials.

 Find other people who are as excited about what you are doing as you are and have them help you spread the word.

 In the end it is all about being persistent, "It's not one long race; its about a lot of short races tagged on one end to end" that makes the difference in growing and succeeding in life and in business.

 When you get up each morning REACH, DREAM & BELIEVE... say to yourself, "What can I do to reach out of my comfort zone today to take risks with my business," "What do I dream for my business today.. keep your vision clear," and "If I don't believe in myself and my business, I can't convince others to believe in it."

"Always remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Susan's favorite quote from hockey great Wayne Gretzky.