Creating a business plan, setting our goals and developing a strategy to reach them, was perhaps one of the most important steps we made for the Women’s Post, and the media company that is growing up around it. Our goals are simple: To create a media company designed to inspire professional women across North America to be all that they can be; to reach as many women as possible with informative, inspiring, and intellectual ideas designed in a format that recognises the difference between how men and women collect information. With these goals in mind we developed a strategy. My CF0 (and husband) is perhaps the greatest contributor. Helping to focus my ideas, and align opportunities, he keeps every whimsical notion I come up with in perspective, asking always, “Does it work to enhance the outcome we want? Does it keep with our strategy?” A few months ago, I came up with the idea of creating a business club that would host events, dinners, discussions, and strategy panels. We have named it the “Post Club.” The idea came out of my talks with executives and entrepreneurs (both male and female) who want to communicate better and network effectively. The men I spoke with told me the number of female managers is increasing and the men need to learn how to communicate with the women and build a more welcoming atmosphere for them. Executive women have told me they need to network more with men because 70 percent of people at the senior executive level are male. The basis of all media is communication and the root of that is community. As media companies grow bigger they often lose sight of the community they serve. The Post Club will serve as a way of enhancing our contribution to the community of businesswomen we serve, as well as connecting the advertisers that support us with customers who will support them. It will allow us to keep our sights on the business community and the changes that are constantly occurring. Although I had to go through much debate and a lot of discussion, my management team finally understands the value of the Post Club and how it will help us reach our end goals. They weren’t so compromising on my idea of creating a chain of car dealerships for women, which was rejected within a matter of hours, as my argument that they might provide great distribution opportunities was weak at best and the idea simply wasn’t a good fit with our strategy. It has taken some time, but I too have learned to look at opportunities in the context of our strategy. If they fit we usually end up incorporating them. But having a strategy has also given me the structure, the foundation, for new ideas to flourish. It all comes back to setting goals, writing down the path you are going to take to reach them, and then sticking to it. To learn more about the Post Club, Sarah Thomson can be reached at 416-964-5850

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