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Female business owners offer free advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

SOUTH HADLEY As talented professionals around the area continue to lose their jobs, new entrepreneurs are blossoming and realizing the potential for new enterprises. Opportunities are around us, and the women of the WBOA (Women Business Owners Alliance of Pioneer Valley) are offering free advice to women who are considering and recognizing the benefits of self employment during these times of change. Six members of the WBOA will share their stories about making the transition from weekly paychecks to self employment, the balancing act of family versus career, and how to handle the business as a whole, not just being great at your craft. "The opportunities for women interested in starting a business are endless right now. The women who are willing to be creative, get motivated, and find their courage are the ones we want to guide through the transition by telling our stories and offering advice," said Angela Lussier, member and PR Chair of the WBOA. The women of the WBOA will be offering free seminars at the South Hadley Public Library on Bardwell Street from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Topics include: Oct. 7: Finding the Balance & Dealing with Roadblocks Being a woman in business means balancing your family life with your career, while dealing with the challenges of being successful and keeping it all together. Hear from the women who have been there, and how they're making it happen every day. Seminar features Suzanne Larocque, owner of Sleaque Images, a photography studio in East Longmeadow and Linda McDonald, certified life coach and owner of Reach Resources in Easthampton. Oct. 14: Building Your Business & Creating a Vision for the Future There's more to running a business than being good at your craft. How do you market it to your clients when 68 percent of all business is lost to poor follow up? How do you not waste your marketing efforts chasing dead end leads? Who should you make key relationships with? You'll also learn about the importance of branding and maintaining a professional image to win the client. Seminar features Becky Castro, CPCC, PCC, a certified business coach and owner of I Love Monday Mornings in Northampton and Allison Biggs, an independent graphic designer serving small business owners in Western Massachusetts. For more information on the seminars, contact Angela Lussier at 426-2720 or angela@my365degrees.com. The Women Business Owners Alliance of Pioneer Valley (WBOA) is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting current and aspiring women business owners and professionals in developing and growing their companies. This organization provides monthly programs, networking opportunities, educational and charity-focused events, and inspiration and support for women all over the Pioneer Valley.

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