Gretchen Henn Notes Nov 11th

Gretchen Henn from the Maine Women’s Business Center came to class tonight – here are some notes from her presentation.

– market is made up of demand, not need. You may need the consulting, you may need the help, but you may not have the market. WHO will buy WHAT you sell is the big question.

Nanne Kennedy – consults her business plan regularly to see where the money is flowing.

– Your target market is bread and butter. if you can’t sell to them, you’re stuffed. the more you know about your perfect customer, the more you know where to market and advertise. Don’t try to be all things to all people.

– Nanne also has an EXIT strategy for her business. Wow. How to build a biz plan which includes your retirement? SBIR  Grants, too!

Gretchen suggested Maine Technology Institute grants, Nanne has gotten these, David Jacobson has applied this year.

Fastest growing segment of ANY market now is locally made. Maine Businesses for Sustainability workshop the other day, every participant said they cared where their food came from. Local production is “China-proof.” Also see

The difference between “market” and “audience” Kids advertising – the AUDIENCE is the kids, the MARKET is the parents. The market is who buys, the audience is who pays attention. Right?

Price is an indicator, Gretchen knows a gem salesman who priced great product cheaply, but didn’t sell – there was a quality perception.

Communication Plan. When you know your market, and your stakeholders, your audience, how often do those people need to be touched – and how? Different folks need different contact, different frequency, build a grid. What’s in it for each person? What do they need?

Mailchimp, vertical response, Constant Contact. Statistics on clickthrough and opens and forwards.

CALL TO ACTION. Part of the plan is clarity around what you want someone to DO as a result of your communication. It’s often more than just “buy the product,” it’s a process to get to the trust level needed to sell something, especially online.

Trust = Reliability, Credibility, Intimacy.

Where do you get the money to start a business? No grants available, there are some loan funds but CEI doesn’t have ’em. Startup Loans are really hard to get. Personal loan terms need to be secured. CEI is a non-bank lender, sometimes they give points for mission that may allow loans that aren’t bankable – but you’ll still need the right credit score and collateral.

There are FSA Agricultural loans for women, 4% for 40 years.

Slow Money – susstainable practices. Maine Angels, too. February “Pitch an Angel” sessions in Maine Investors Week.

CEI offers SBA Microloans, less than 50k. Also others. Loan app. is on the website, prereq. is that you’ve been turned down by a bank. 9% for planning purposes., kickstart, Kiva microloans, some as low as $25.

Well thought-out surveys from time to time are good (

Online information backup:

Business networking group BNI – you may always go twice as a guest or sign up on the sub list. In Bath:

ACE Maine – Association for Consulting Expertise

LinkedIn primarily for Biz to Biz. Facebook is great for person to person…

LinkedIn Maine Entrepreneurs group
Facebook Maine Arts and Entrepreneurs group Catherine Bickford (went through Top Gun program)

Gretchen teaches a Quickbooks workshop. Tues 16th 9 am, in Gretchen’s office in Portland. Mac hates quickbooks. Online version is cumbersome.

19th Nov lunch and learn, lawyer discussing when to form a biz.

New Ventures program from Women, Work and Community – search by topic.

About whereisrandall

Pilot. Sailor. Once musician.
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2 Responses to Gretchen Henn Notes Nov 11th

  1. howard nannen says:

    Great notes. Thanks. Gretchen’s talk was a mini-marketing, mini biz-school lecture. Full of good contacts, sites, insights. Great resouce, she.
    What do you think of inviting classmates to bring samples of their wares Wednesday – either show and tell, or for sale, if they wish? I would like much to see some of the stuff people have talked about as their biz products, services. I find the synergistic thoughts of others always useful in rethinking product, service, marketing, packaging, etc, etc. Maybe spend an hour, so not to intrude too much on other plans?

  2. Pingback: Gretchen Henn notes March 9th | Fireball Marketing – Bath, Maine

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