Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | December 12, 2015

Women of Focus

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Heads Up! We’re telling you now to mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Women of Focus Tradeshow on March 3, 2016! No excuses, we’re three months early!

Maybe you’ve already heard about Rochester’s Women of Focus Tradeshow. If not, we are a group of women who have come together to both financially and philanthropically support our surrounding community by bringing together female business owners and entrpreneurs and allowing them to showcase their products, support each other, and celebrate each other in a beautiful environment! Our mission has been created for women, by women (pictured below), and because of women!

March is Celebrate Women Month so please join us on the 3rd!

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This exciting even will be held at Rochester’s The Inn on Broadway from 4pm-8pm. As a guest, you’ll be able to browse and shop some awesome products and network with amazing, local, women entrepreneurs.

If you’d like, you can also be a part of this event by becoming a Women of Focus Tradeshow sponsor. By becoming a sponsor you will gain exposure to tons of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and experts, through an interactive and intriguing setting. Another perk: proceeds will benefit the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley! We will also be collecting gently worn prom gowns to benefit the Fairy Godmothers of Greater Rochester.

Check out our site at www.WomenOfFocusTradeshow.com for more info!

We cannot wait to see you in March!

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | October 28, 2015

Building the Best Business Team

This week we’re going to take a slightly different approach and not directly discuss building your company’s website, but instead, the art of creating the best team possible. Particularly, this is cruicial for entrepreneurs. We need to ensure that we surround ourselves with the people who can benefit us the best. Those who care and share similar passions and are willing and determined to help us reach our goals. The perfect team will help you and your company grow.

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A few aspects that make up a great team include mutual respect; similar interests; varying specializations and delegation of duties to ensure that all aspects of your business can be handled by people who really know what they’re doing; patience; and friendly competitiveness. With several different people that excel in several different areas, it really is true that you can get much more done and your business will be much more effective or efficient with the perfect team.

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The corny cliche that “TEAM” can be defined using the acronym “Together Everyone Achieves More” may be silly, but it also could not be more true. By definition a team is a group of people who work together; however, an affective team who is likely to be successful is much more and the acronym above couldn’t be more accurate. Utilizing this acronym to form a strong company mindset for your team can only be helpful. Find other people who feel this way as well and who are willing to play their part to its fullest potential, and even go an extra mile, to ensure that the team as a whole, and then the company, will benefit.

Be cautious of people who do not have this mindset. Those who do not feel the same about the importance of being a strong team player could be detrimental to the brand. This is because employees who can not be strong assets to a team are often likely to forget about the bigger picture and turn out to be selfish, doing what may benefit them and not the company as much. For this your business may take a hit. Don’t be afraid to turn down people who you don’t feel will be a strong asset to your team. And remember that if you know and like someone outside of the workplace and still have a feeling that they will not be trustworthy, it is still okay to make the decision to NOT make them a part of your professional team as well. To quote yet another corny figure of speech: there is no “I” in TEAM.

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Different types of team members can be beneficial to different businesses. If you aren’t sure about who to enlist as part of your team, don’t be afraid to contact a consultant who knows from first-hand experience what team members are crucial to the success of different businesses.

Written by Chanelle Surphlis

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | October 9, 2015

Clutter Caution

Hopefully some of you were able to attend the Tech Startup Expo last week!

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Now were getting back to the juicy stuff!

While we now know the ins and outs of social media and how to incorporate it on your company’s website, we also have to be sure that we aren’t cluttering our site with too much unnecessary “stuff”. Quality over quantity is the name of this game!

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The purpose of your company, as well as the purpose of your website, should be clear to any consumer immediately; including too much content will often distract and confuse your audience. Of course, one of the most important spaces on your website to reduce clutter is your homepage! Just like your first impression of another person, the first impression of a website is made practically instantly and that first impression can, and will, either make or break you. This initial hunch the user gets is what will cause them to either navigate further into the content that is on your page, or navigate away from your site entirely and on to something better. Be specific and to-the-point because LESS IS MORE! A customer’s online experience on your website is truly their experience with your company as a whole.

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If a customer is surfing your website and feels that all of their questions and concerns can be answered and that their needs can be met in a clear, clean, concise manner, then they will feel that you are trustworthy and just the same as the website you put forward. When a customer is confused by your website they may not trust you and could feel that you will not be able to meet their needs.

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It is important to understand that in today’s world, a decent majority of people will use the internet to find a product or service that they are searching for and will often check out a business’ website before actually communicating with the people behind the site at all.Untitled

If you can see the importance behind all of this information then you’re on the right track. If you need help presenting the right online image for your brand don’t hesitate to reach out to a business consultant who is knowledgeable, experienced, and just itching to help you out!

Written by Chanelle Surphlis

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | September 26, 2015

Tech Startup Expo: Coming Soon to Rochester!

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Today we’re talking about the Tech Startup Expo that’s coming to Rochester this week! Get ready to head to Ballroom 384 at City Grill October 1st from 12-4pm to attend this great event! Local organizations and companies will be present to provide resources and support that will aid tech startup companies in our area by way of startup capital, capacity building programs,  business advice, mentoring programs, and more. All that said, if you are serious about starting or growing your business, then you should definitely attend this event, where you’ll surround yourself with the best passionate and professional resources that Rochester has to offer! The necessary organization of such a great event is proof that Rochester is becoming an ideal place for technology, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Specifically, Rochester is becoming a breeding ground for new startups, which is so exciting for the local community!

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Crystal Clear Consulting is excited to be represented at this expo by founder, Jill Bates! Jill will present “Building the Best Startup Team”, sharing techniques for creating and surrounding yourself with the best team possible in order to lead your company down the road to success. Further, you’ll hear, not only how to create such a team, but also why it is so important and how you will benefit.

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Crystal Clear Consulting is happy and excited to help you and your company reach each of your goals! An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages a business with great initiative and risk. At CCC we understand this completely and we’ve been through it…so we also understand that with great risk comes great reward and we can’t wait to help you get there!

Written by Chanelle Surphlis

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | September 11, 2015

Social Media: A Trivia

We just spoke to you all about the importance of social media and how to include your social media platforms on your business’s main website. Today we’ll talk more about some of those social media platforms, looking specifically at four extremely popular ones and their history. Ready for some fun facts!?

Facebook was introduced to Harvard University in 2004 by, then student, Mark Zuckerberg. Quickly, the social networking site grew throughout the prestigious university and even on to other universities in Boston. It was only in 2005 that “The Facebook” became officially known as Facebook.com and was available to all universities across the United States. Next, high schools gained access, and then it became a worldwide phenomenon that any university could utilize as they chose. Then, in 2006 the site moved beyond the educational state of mind and became available to everyone. To this day Facebook has not stopped growing and adding new up-to-date features that keep users coming back after a whole decade has gone by. To stress the point, Mark Zuckerberg became the youngest self-made billionaire ever in 2008.

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Insgtagram is the social networking site solely created for those filtered pictures that make the least creative of us professional photographers. This site has been a success story from the go and had 1 million users two months after their launch and 10 million in 2011. Funny enough, though Instagram was founded only in 2010 by two men, it was bought in 2012 by Facebook! Of course, like any other website, Instagram has gone through tons of changes and updates throughout the years that make the photo uploading experience something that most people couldn’t have imagined.

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Twitter has become a new sort of Mecca for sharing news and information, opinions, and for viewing celebrity insights among many other topics. What twitter allows is for a short piece of some sort of information to be shared with an extremely large audience and for any one person to share their information, or whatever they want to say, across a vast platform. Many celebrities are simply huge on twitter, having millions and millions of followers that want to know their every move. Businesses have also caught the Twitter bug, many brands have accounts, allowing them to reach their customers in a completely different, and potentially more affective way, than ever before as a two-way, quick and simple form of communication has been offered. Today, Twitter has well over 200 million followers and the company that started with only eight employees seven years ago has grown incredibly.

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Pinterest allows for the minds of creative people everywhere to constantly flow and be shared for those, often less creative, to gain new ideas on food, arts and crafts, decorations etc. In 2010 Pinterest had only 5,000 users but only two years later that number skyrocketed to over 17 million. That being said, here we have another site who’s growth has simply been incredible. Founder, Ben Silberman, will explain how, before Pinterest, he had every intention to enter the medical field, but the site took off and became a successful full time job in itself. The hope is to get Pinterest to a successful point where it is considered a multi-billion dollar business.

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So, there you have them, tons of quick fun facts about a select few of the major social networking sites that are hot today for both individual users and businesses, meaning that these four sites are also great ways to reach and interact with your customer base! Don’t be afraid to consult someone if you’re still unsure about social media, plenty of people have mastered the art and you can learn from them!

We’ve got more business advice coming your way next time!

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Carlson, Nicholas. “Pinterest CEO: Here’s How We Became The Web’s Next Big Thing [DECK].” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 24 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.

“The Complete History of Instagram.” WeRSM We Are Social Media. N.p., 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.

“‘Forbes’: Facebook CEO Is Youngest Self-made Billionaire – USATODAY.com.” ‘Forbes’: Facebook CEO Is Youngest Self-made Billionaire – USATODAY.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.

“The History of Twitter.” Socialnomics. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.

Phillips, Sarah. “A Brief History of Facebook.” The Guardian. N.p., 27 July 2007. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.

Written by Chanelle Surphlis

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | August 27, 2015

BEWARE: Social Media Has the Power to Either Make or Break Your Business

So now we’ve discussed the copy and the images that should and should not be present on your professional business website, but in today’s times there is another extremely important item found on nearly every company’s webpage in one place or another. Social media icon buttons or a link to a company’s social media sites in some other form are often found in an easily located spot on their main website.

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For example, we can see at the top of jillbatesfashion.com that there are icon buttons in the top left corner of Jill’s homepage that link the user directly to her Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest pages.

So, why is this a big deal? Why is it important for your company to have a social media presence, and why is it important to include links to those pages on your main site?

Let’s start with Facebook. Of the entire US adult population 81% of people use the internet, and about three quarters of them use Facebook on a regular basis! About a quarter of US adults are present on the business social media platform LinkedIn, but about half of all internet users who have a college education do in fact truly utilize this site! About 42% of American female internet users have a Pinterest account, and about 53% of young adults that use the internet have a presence on Instagram! This is all according to a 2014 Pew survey and there is hardly a doubt that these numbers have stayed the same nor decreased in the time since. Taking a look at a survey like this it becomes crystal clear why it is so important to utilize social media. You can reach and affect a HUGE audience!

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Now, the big thing is that it is okay, in fact entirely important, to strategically pick and choose which social media pages you wish to share on you company’s actual site. Understand that not every link needs to be present on your home page. Perhaps you’re a photographer who is trying to grow your own business. Your company is obviously going to be extremely visual, so on your company’s own website it might be useful to connect your professional, well thought out, aesthetically appealing Instagram page so that people can see even more of your work.

There is a delicate balance just as there is with most things in life. When applying your makeup you likely aren’t going to use every product you have all at once unless you have very little. When accessorizing an outfit you aren’t going to put on every single necklace you own, you’re going to pick one, or maybe layer with just a few.

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Here’s some really great food for thought. Be sure to take time to perfect your social media sites, select which ones you will present on your company’s main website, and decide how you’re going to do it in the next couple of weeks. If you have questions don’t be afraid to contact a business consultant or utilize Crystal Clear Consulting! Business consultants are here to help! In our next post we’ve got some fun facts heading your way and then we’ll keep going with more tips on building a great business website. Tons to look forward to!

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(Weise, Elizabeth. “Your Mom and 58% of Americans Are on Facebook.” USA Today. Gannett, 09 Jan. 2015. Web. 27 Aug.   2015.)

Written by Chanelle Surphlis

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | August 6, 2015

Fashion and Business Go Hand-in-Hand: Exhibit B

Now that we have established the importance and difficulty in creating the copy for your business website in a way that all you fashion lovers can understand, we continue on to an only slightly different subject. When creating the best possible website for your business, not only is it important to figure out exactly what to say to your audience and potential clients, but also what to show them. When browsing a website most people do it quickly and visually without wanting to read long and descriptive paragraphs. So, it is equally, if not more, important to overcome any struggles that you may face when determining what photographs to display on your site.

It should, without a doubt, be obvious to everyone that when creating a professional website that you are going to use in order to grow your clientele, there should certainly be no cell phone-grade photos showcased on your site. That’s right, no matter how good Kim looks, no bathroom selfies to go along with your bios and About Me pages!

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It seems so obvious to some, but it is so crucial for ALL entrepreneurs to understand that for a professional website, professional photos are simply a MUST! Now, take this statement with a tiny grain of salt, too! I’m not by any means telling you to hire any Nigel Barkers or Annie Leibovitzs!

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Photo by Nigel Barker, fashion photographer

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Photo by Annie Leibovitz, celebrity photographer

Your photos don’t need to actually be worth a million bucks, but they really do need to be worth a thousand words! What is important here, is to be sure that you are not leaning too much toward either one of the aforementioned extremes unless that is truly the nature of your website, and such photos are speaking to the audience you really wish to channel.

Here are a few quick Dos and Don’ts when it comes to adding photos to your website:

-Do make sure that your photos are of professional-grade quality

-Don’t use every photo available to you, clutter is not cool

-Do use photos that speak to and further enhance the message of your website

-Do use photos that are intriguing and will guide the user to further explore your site

-Do take advantage of websites that offer free resource images if you do not have other sources available

-Don’t be afraid to use a photo as the background for one of your webpages

There are many other tips out there beyond these few! If you need help building a site for your company never be afraid to ask for it. The most successful sites, and even businesses, have certainly not been created by people working alone. Remember, it can be good to admit that someone is in fact better than you when it comes to photography or graphic design or any other title that could enhance your business’s website. Also, don’t forget that you can always work with a business consultant, someone who is solely providing their knowledge and personal experience in order to make your business better! Seek the help of these people and find out what you’re good at so you can help them in return! What’s that they say…team work makes the dream work??

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Written by Chanelle Surphlis

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | June 18, 2015

Fashion and Business Go Hand-in-Hand: Exhibit A

As you may know, I am in the process of growing Crystal Clear Consulting, my business-consulting company that aims to help female entrepreneurs create and maintain a successful business.

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Well, in trying to build the website for Crystal Clear Consulting, it has become incredibly obvious that it is just plain difficult. Ladies, writing the copy for a website is a lot like applying your makeup.

Finding the perfect shade is often a major initial struggle, whether it be your cover up, your eye shadow, or your lip stick. Then, understanding how to properly apply this perfect shade is a task all its own. Not only do you want the chosen products to look great, but also natural; not too much…but not too little. Make sure it won’t run in the heat…but then how do you get it off!?

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Well, maybe this comes naturally to you. In this case you’d be like one of those people who is simply a natural when it comes to writing. These people always know exactly what to say and how to make it flow properly and make sense to their audience; their websites may seem flawless. But for some of us this task simply is not so easy.

Maybe you’re the type of girl who just doesn’t wear makeup. You don’t have the time, or the patience, or simply the need. These women deserve just as much credit! If this is you then you’re like the people whose websites are practically all photographs or videos. However, these sites are often just as successful and effective. Or maybe this type of girl is able to have a successful business without a website! You go, girl!

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For me, creating the copy for my upcoming Crystal Clear Consulting website has been a unique task as it personally has taken a decent deal of effort and careful thought. At the end of the day however, I understand its importance and admit that there is no doubt that this challenge is completely worth it.

For more advice on the importance of building a great website for your business or anything else dealing with the pursuit of an entrepreneurial path, come to your Crystal Clear consultant, someone who has just been through this type of challenge, too!

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Written by Chanelle Surphlis

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | January 8, 2015

Ever thought about starting up a business?

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Wondering what tools you’ll need, if you need a prototype, what manufacture to use, if you’ll need a space to work, or just where to start?

Well that’s where Crystal Clear Consulting comes in.

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As you may know Crystal Clear Consulting is a consulting business to help you start the business you always dreamed about. Crystal Clear Consulting helps you step by step in starting you business, and helps you answer all the questions you have.

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When you start a business sometimes there are problems that you have to face. For an example you might have made a prototype perfectly, then sent it to the manufacture and thinking it would come out just as you made it, and then it doesn’t. The manufacture sent back all your orders wrong because they messed up on one little thing. Crystal Clear Consulting can help you prevent this problem because it is another set of eyes out side of your business.

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Another problem some might face is pricing. It takes some mistakes to learn, you either price to high or to low. In any business it is hard to decide what to price your merchandise or labor. To decide this you need to know whom you are marketing towards and then set your prices. Also, some people spend money on things that are not necessary for their company. When you have a company and start a company you really need to use your money wisely because you do not want to run out of it! This again is something Crystal Clear Consulting can help you with.

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There are so many stepping-stones through starting a business. Take it from Jill Bates herself, the owner of Jill Bates Fashion and Crystal Clear Consulting, both which she started from the bottom up on her own. Through the years she’s made her mistakes and learned from them, now she wants to now help you.

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Stop ending up at dead ends with your new business. With the right business consultant you have the ability to melt obstacles and facilitate possibilities.

Make an appointment now with Jill Bates at Crystal Clear Consulting!

Posted by: Crystal Clear Consulting | October 6, 2014

Fall into Fall into Fashion

By now the Fall season may be completely underway but the actual transition from Summer to Autumn can surely be a hefty one. Apart from seasonal allergies, changing leaves, and dropping temperatures, Fall also means a change for your closet! Whether you’re lucky enough to go out and purchase a whole new wardrobe or you’re pulling out your bins of clothes that have been stored away since Spring, there is no doubt that the switch can carry with it quite a bit of baggage.

One of the oldest and most common Fall fashion guidelines is the idea that wearing the color white after Labor Day is prohibited. I must admit that while I’ve been told before I cannot recall the actual purpose or history behind this rule, yet personally I think it is rather preposterous to continue dressing according to such a standard. The color white is cool, chic, clean, and innocent year round and thus should be accepted and worn in such a way. Today more than ever nearly everyone is breaking this rule and rocking white from Spring to Winter.

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The leaves may have dropped to the ground but there is no reason these pants should be dropped from your wardrobe!

Beyond the color white we notice the details on garments changing as studs, perforations, and similar embellishments are being placed strategically onto jackets, handbags, shoes, and even t-shirts. More and more zippers are easily spotted, a change from the time when zippers were supposed to be nearly invisible within a garment. Today people are increasingly accepting the authenticity of the exposed zipper on everything from t-shirts to wedding gowns.

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Apart from breaking the traditional rules some of the cliche ways do in fact stay. Fur, whether natural or faux, is certainly pushing its way back into our outfits as the dropping temperature increasingly gives us the allowance to fulfill our cravings for its soft beauty. Fur in fashion has stuck for many years and is sure to stay around looking forward. On the feet of many young men and women we have seen footwear take a more combative turn and we understand that regardless of the style, boots will undoubtebly always return one way or another!

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Written by Chanelle Surphlis

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