The Female Fusion Podcast!

The Female Fusion podcast is your go-to resource for inspiration, motivation, and practical advice for female entrepreneurs.

Hosted by Jen Blandos, a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience building successful businesses, this podcast features insights and expertise from some of the world's top female entrepreneurs and industry experts.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, the Female Fusion podcast is here to help you achieve your business goals.

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Episode Takeaways 

  • How did Jen 5x Female Fusion in one year?
  • What strategies did she use to create 1,000 paying members?
  • What systems and processes did she put in place to maximise success?

Show Notes

Discover how one entrepreneur grew her business by 5x in just one year - and how you can too!

Jen Blandos, the founder of Female Fusion Network, shares her insights and expertise as a global entrepreneur, and how she created the right environment for Female Fusion Network to 5x its revenue in 2022.

"On the first of January 2022, Female Fusion Network had 168 paying members. At the end of 2022, we had pretty close to 1000 paying members. That was something I had set out as a goal that I had said to myself at the beginning of the year, so I felt pretty chuffed that I met that goal."

  • How did Jen 5x Female Fusion in one year?
  • What strategies did she use to create 1,000 paying members?
  • What systems and processes did she put in place to maximise success?


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Show transcription

[INTRO] Hi there. I'm Jen Blandos, the founder of Female Fusion Network. I've been an entrepreneur for over 20 years with experience in building seven figure businesses and working around the world. Originally, I'm from Canada, but I've been living in Dubai for the past 14 years. I've created this podcast to share my insights and expertise as a global entrepreneur and help other women start, build, grow, and scale their businesses. You'll also hear from some of the world's top experts and female entrepreneurs who will inspire and motivate you to achieve your business goals. So join me as we explore all that the world has to offer and build the business of your dreams. Let's get started. 

So on the 1 January 2022, Female Fusion Network had 168 paying members. And at the end of 2022, 31 December, we had pretty close to 1000 paying members. Now that was something I had set out as a goal that I had said to myself at the beginning of the year, I am going to have 1000 members by the end of 2022. So I felt pretty chuffed that I met that goal and actually I finanxed the revenue in Female Fusion Network by the end of 2022. And I've shared that information with a few of my entrepreneurial friends. 

[00:01:51] And the question that I keep getting asked is how did you do it and what would be your top tips for doing it? So in today's episode, I want to be able to share that with all of you to talk about how I FedEx my business and the lessons that I learned from that and what you could take away from that to put into place in your own business. Because a lot of these areas that I worked on can be put into pretty much any business as well. Now everybody's business is different and you need to do what works for you. But I'm going to talk today about how I managed to five X a business in 2022. 

[00:02:36] So the first thing that I did is I worked to a plan. I was very, very clear about what my plan was going to be for the business in 2022. I was super, super clear on the vision for the business and the business goals. But what I did as well is I reviewed it regularly and I probably updated my plan at least six or seven times in 2022 because where I thought the business was going to be actually wasn't exactly how it was. And so I had to make sure that I reviewed it regularly and changed things really quickly if it didn't work. 

[00:03:20] So, as I said, my biggest goal was that we were going to hit 1000 members and we pretty much did we're a few numbers off, but I feel pretty good about that, that I said I was going to do it and we did. The second thing I did as well is I obsessively watch my numbers and maybe I was a bit too obsessed with it. Now. I'd like to compete with myself, and in business, the only people we're competing with is ourselves. At the end of the day, nobody does what you do. 

[00:03:54] Now, you have similar businesses, but we all have a slightly different or unique way of doing it. So I've spoken previously about the SME dashboard, and the SME dashboard is the tool that we use in Female Fusion Network to track our numbers across everything. And I have shared it with our members. And also I have included in the show notes the SME dashboard for you to be able to use that as well. So every single month is updated. 

[00:04:30] I set aside time for myself every month. Normally it is for a couple of hours every morning. I set it in my calendar, and I sit down and I fill in the SME dashboard. I track the financial numbers, I look at marketing, I look at social media, I look at the number of members that we have, our website traffic, and I look for trends. And when I see dips in revenue, I make changes. 

[00:04:56] I don't wait two or three months. I make changes that day, and I share it with the team, and we talk about it as a team and look at ways that we are able to make changes. So we're not going to see a continued dip in revenue. So I don't wait until six months later and I realize I'm not making enough money. It was done instantly, and I think that that really contributed as well to us doing really well over the last year. 

[00:05:26] The other thing too is I constantly reviewed my revenue streams. Now being a membership, I am constantly being asked for doing different things. You know, I was asked a lot in 2022 if I could set up a mastermind. I was asked to do a certain type of event, was asked to do different retreats, all of these different things, offer a different level of membership. And what I do is I have a list on monday of all the different revenue streams that we could look at offering, and I review that and I look at what sort of revenue it would bring into the business, how much of my time, how much of the team time, how much it would cost the business, and if it would be a good return on investment for the business, because some things we might absolutely love to do, but it's actually not going to bring in money to our business. 

[00:06:28] So I would really encourage everybody, if you have a few different revenue streams, to really look at that as well. And I also as well looked at the pricing of our different revenue streams. So we increased our prices in may. Our prices were ridiculously low for a very long time, and they had to go up. And I received criticism from some people saying, how can you increase your prices. 

[00:06:56] That's ridiculous. Nobody's going to buy. And actually, people did buy. And I would say that probably we have more people paying the increased price than we do people that were on the original price, so the price wasn't a problem. And that enabled us as well to increase our revenue. 

[00:07:18] And also as well, the original low price that we were charging didn't enable us to deliver everything that we needed to, so the price had to go up. I also decided as well not to proceed with certain projects because it wasn't going to bring in the revenue that was needed. And the biggest one that I kind of shelved, it's not a no, but it's not something that we're going to do for the short term, is putting on a Mastermind. I've been asked by quite a few of our members to put on a Mastermind, but for the amount of time that it's going to take to deliver a Mastermind and the cost that our members have told us that they would be willing to pay, it's not something that would be financially viable for us. So it's something we could possibly look at in the future, but it's for the short term, it's something that we wouldn't be putting on. 

[00:08:16] The other thing as well that I did is I reinvested for the good of the business. So what that means is that the money that we made in the business, I was investing in the business, so I invested in a lot of technology. I invested in experts, so I invested in communications and PR experts to help us get press coverage and bring greater awareness to the business. I invested in graphic design and branding and up leveling all of that. We spent a lot of time creating templates and canvas so it would be easier for our team to deliver that. 

[00:09:04] But I paid for somebody to professionally do that. We upgraded with some computers. We bought a portable sound system for some of our events, so we didn't have to rent it because we had one event where the venue didn't have a sound system and we had to rent one. And we got charged a lot of money for that and I thought, no way. So we ended up investing in a sound system that we're able to carry with us as well. 

[00:09:36] The other thing too is I found that surrounding myself with people that were better than me, who had better skills than me, really helped elevate the business as well. Because we can't do everything. I can't do everything well. I like to think as an entrepreneur, as a CEO, we are really good at doing lots of different things, but we're kind of the jack of all trades and the master of none, which is good, right? I would say where my Master is is my mastery is in running a business and being strategic, but it's not good use of my time to sit down and be doing canva and be creating social media images and posting on Instagram that there is better value things that I could do. 

[00:10:33] So I really focused on creating what I call my A team. And we have a really fabulous team of full time, part time and a few outsourced people. And we have a team who are around the world who all do different things within the business. So that has been really what's helped us scale and it's taken the pressure off of me. The other thing too is this is something I think that as entrepreneurs that we can be maybe not so good at. 

[00:11:09] And I think one of the things that helped us a lot is that I asked for help when I needed it. And there were several phases over the past year where maybe I wasn't sure about something or I was questioning the vision or wondering if I was doing the right thing or stuck on something. And I asked for help. And I have so much gratitude to all of the people who stepped in and helped or provided advice or recommendations, whether they were friends and provided that help and support at no cost, or they were people who I paid to help. But I recognized where I needed help and I did it and I put into place and I changed things. 

[00:12:01] The other thing as well that probably I have more than I have ever had in the more than 20 years of business ownership is that I really focused as well on building my network of mentors, supporters and allies for me and for Female Fusion Network. So there are a couple of female entrepreneurs who I massively, massively respect and they became my mentors over the past year and they really uplifted me. I went to them for support and advice, you know, whether It was A more formal session or sitting down, having lunch or dinner, just being able to have somebody who has More experience than me, who's got 1020 years more experience than I do in business ownership, I really valued that. And that Helped me really grow the business. And I spent a lot of time on networking, of course, at Female Fusion Network events, but also online as well. 

[00:13:08] And I went to a number of international events as well and met some really cool people there. The other area I think that helped immensely is that we created systems and standard operating procedures which are called SOPs for every single thing that we could possibly do. And it feels like you are doing an impossible task when you start doing this. And at the beginning of 2022 we had some SOPs and some systems, but it wasn't a lot. We had a few.

[00:13:50] Now at the end of 2022, we are so systemed up and so, SOP up. It is crazy. But do you know, this is the one thing that I think has allowed us to really elevate and now that I step back and look in the business that I really see that this is something that has made massive change for us in the business. So if you are able to start creating systems, even if you are a business of one, creating standard operating procedures, oh my goodness, it takes your business to another level. Now, the way that we do it is that we have some of our standard operating procedures are on Google Sheets or Google Docs. 

[00:14:40] Others we have on Monday, Monday which is the project management system that we use. And then the other thing as well that we've done is we have created a little mini course in Kajabi, which is the platform that we use in Kajabi and we have everything mapped out as well there. Now how we do it is we'll typically have a description about the standard operating procedure. Oftentimes we'll have a checklist, we will create a Loom video to go with it. Now Loom is a system if you haven't heard of it before, at software basically that will screen record your computer so you can show somebody how to do something. 

[00:15:25] So if you're showing them how to set up an automation or how you approve people in a Female Fusion Network group, whatever it is. But we have that with the Loom video and then we have a checklist for the person to follow. Now, it's been really useful for us because as we've onboarded more freelancers or full time staff, that it has made the onboarding process easier for them. Because also too that there's going to be areas that they're going to forget, right, that we don't always know everything and they're going to forget areas that we showed them in the beginning. So it's really useful for everybody to have standard operating procedures that they're all able to work from. 

[00:16:07] And this has been massive for us and I've seen now a year on after we've created so many of these and we're still creating them, we'll always be creating them because we'll also be updating them as well, that this has really taken the business up a level. So this one's had a lot of impact. The other thing as well that really contributed to five X in the business and this might resonate to other people that when I started with Female Fusion Network I decided as well to take an advisory role and I was advising UN women on entrepreneurship for 18 months. And it was oh my God, it was such an amazing experience and I still feel so grateful and honored that I had the opportunity to be involved in this program and create the program for the UAE. That was a real honor that I was able to to do that. 

[00:17:14] But what I found after about 18 months is that it was not giving me the ability to focus on Female Fusion Network and the business. And so I stopped working at the end of May last year. And at that point, that was when the business really started to take off and really started to go on a different level. Because I was able to focus more on the business. I was able to have that headspace to focus on the strategic direction of the business. 

[00:17:51] And one of the things that I implemented as soon as I left, because I did have that headspace, is every single month within Female Fusion Network we have a theme. And I found since we've introduced this within Female Fusion Network that it's easier to create content, but it also enables us to be more consistent and clear with our members about how they can make use of the membership every month. And so by doing that we were able to really focus on every month having a theme. So we would have a theme on personal branding systems and operations, finance and money, collaborations and partnerships, you know, anything that you could think of to run a business. We came up with the theme and we also have for 2023, we've got lots of fantastic themes as well, but that really, really helped and it also goes down to something that I focused on a lot, which was also a massive key for us in Female Fusion Network, which was consistency, consistency across everything. 

[00:19:07] Now that was consistency. So as I was saying, how we created the monthly theme, monthly theme was one of the first things that really helped with us up leveling and being able to offer really that valuable content to our members. But then also it meant consistency in our emails. So we started where previously we'd send out a couple of emails a month or if there was something happening. We got into the habit. 

[00:19:38] Every Monday morning at 08:00 a.m., if you are a member, you have an email in your inbox giving you the latest news, what's happening in the membership, all of the things that you can book onto either online or in person. And it's all there in one email. We also do within the email we celebrate success stories of members and things that they've achieved and anything else that might be relevant for our members. And at first I thought people aren't really going to care about that, it's not going to matter. But what started to happen is I was getting messages from our members or I was meeting members at events and they were saying oh my God, I wait for your email on Monday morning. 

[00:20:24] I just love it, like I open up your email and then I open up my calendar and I know what I need to book for the next week or the next month. And they're like if your email is late or if it doesn't come, I wonder if something has happened because you were so consistent that we send out those emails and typically the emails are set and done a week in advance. Ideal world. I would love to have them done a month in advance. Sometimes they get done a few hours in advance if we have later updates or things that are happening. 

[00:20:58] But we are very consistent with emails. The other thing as well is we're really consistent with social media. So it's not just we post a few times a week and then we get busy and then we don't post and then we post again. We consistently post across a number of social media channels. So our priorities are Instagram, Female Fusion Network, LinkedIn and then we do some on Twitter and TikTok as well. 

[00:21:27] Now I'll hold my hand up, I'm not 100% perfect. I would say we are really good on Instagram and Female Fusion Network still need to do a little bit of work on LinkedIn, but the consistency really helps. And we have a plan and we are consistent with our content and what we put out. So we're typically working about a month in advance and then we give ourselves some room to be able to add extra things to that as well. The other thing that we became consistent with was what we were offering for our members. 

[00:22:05] So our members know every single month you get a coffee connect if you are based in the UAE. We do an in person event for our members in the UAE, for our international members we do online networking but those are consistent and we have those as well. So we're able to provide that for different time zones. So we have one in the morning in the UAE time and also in the evening. So we're pretty much able to cover everywhere around the world with our online. 

[00:22:40] We also have monthly Mindset coaching which is consistent. We have a master class which is delivered by me every month. We have a number of events that are done in person in the UAE and our members know about that. The other thing as well is that I personally became very consistent with showing up. So I made it a priority. 

[00:23:05] Every Monday morning I was popping into our Female Fusion Network community and I was doing a live video, talking to our members, talking about what's coming up, any sort of news, answering any questions our members had. That video took maybe ten or 15 minutes, but what I was hearing from our members was that if they didn't have time to watch it, then that they would maybe watch it afterwards to get kind of information about what was going on within the membership and also within the world of entrepreneurship. And then I also started a weekly live stream called Female Fusion Network and that was where typically what we do with that is it's a livestream across LinkedIn, our Female Fusion Network page, our Female Fusion Network groups and yeah, that's pretty much it. Oh, and our YouTube channel as well. So we would do that across all of that. 

[00:23:57] It would be every Monday morning and typically it would follow a theme based on what we were covering in the fusion circle. So, for example, if we were doing marketing without social media, I would do interviews with our members who were absolutely brilliant at marketing themselves and marketing their businesses. But maybe not necessarily just on social media because we wanted also as well to be able to talk to our members about don't just do things on social media, that there's other ways that you can promote your business and you can grow your business and make money. So we spent a lot of time on that. But what was funny, and this is also a bit of a learning for me as well, is that I delivered a lot of them in the ottoman. 

[00:24:48] We had a launch as well at the end of September because we moved last year from having our membership always open to having it where the doors were open and the doors were closed. And we have an eight day period where you can join twice a year. And during that period in September, I was doing two Female Fusion Network a day. If you could imagine two Female Fusion Network a day and each episode was anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes long. And I do a lot of preparation work around that as well and think about questions and think about the member that I'm interviewing where sometimes it would be two or three businesses at once and I just got really tired after doing it. 

[00:25:36] And so I went up until November of doing Female Fusion Network and decided to take a break and the number of people who messaged me and said where's Female Fusion Network? We'd love Female Fusion Network. When is it coming back, we want to watch it. What are the next businesses coming up that you're going to feature? So it was something as well that I realized that I need to be consistent across Female Fusion Network as well. 

[00:26:00] That even though you don't think that people notice that actually they do. So Female Fusion Network is coming back, I'm recording the next one next week so we will have Female Fusion Network coming again. But that is it just goes to show you that being consistent and showing people that you show up regularly really makes an impact on your business. Now the last thing that I would go and say for this and that I would say really also made a difference and it breaks my heart when I see that business owners don't make this a priority and that is professional development. I spent a lot of money and a lot of time on professional development in 2022 and that was on coaches. 

[00:26:53] I have a business coach, I'm also working with a copywriting coach at the moment because I wanted to be able to become better at my marketing copy because my background for those of you that know me is my background was more PR and communications. So I'm good at writing, very good boring corporate speak but I'm not so good at like, hey, buy this, but in like a very clever, savvy way. So I wasn't so good at that. So I've been working with a coach on that. But I also have a business coach who is so good at kicking my butt and keeping me accountable because everybody has me within the fusion circle. [00:27:40] But Jen also needs to have someone as well. The other thing too is I have been in a Mastermind for about 18 months now, and the Mastermind is based out of Australia. Pay $1,000 a month for it, and it's mainly online. But twice a year, I end up meeting with a number of the women who are in the Mastermind. Now. 

[00:28:05] When I joined that Mastermind, I remember a few people said to me, they're like, you're spending a month? Are you crazy? Like, what are you doing? But the reason why I joined the Mastermind is it was very specifically focused on the area that I'm in, which is Kajabi. So we run Female Fusion Network on Kajabi, and it was so niche that it was for women who were building businesses either selling courses or selling memberships on Kajabi. 

[00:28:40] So I thought my background is more bricks and mortar businesses. And so I would really like to be able to have the space to be able to learn and understand how to better run a digital business. So that was really great from a professional level, getting to know other people, know what good looks like, understand ways that I can make it even better. And I actually went to Uluru in Australia in June after I had had COVID, and I went for a Mastermind retreat meetup in Uluru with all the women who were in the Mastermind. And having that opportunity to meet other business owners who were like me, doing similar things to me was really powerful. 

[00:29:30] And they've become really good friends. And we have our little circle that we communicate and motivate and support each other. And some of them have come and spoken to our members and delivered Master classes to our members. We had the gorgeous Christina Lankowski, who delivered a Master class, I think it was about six months ago she did, on how you can get yourself to be a guest on a podcast, which was fabulous. Everybody absolutely loved that and it was such a good session. 

[00:30:06] And she's also great that if you're looking to get yourself onto podcasts, christina is amazing at doing that. And then I had the wonderful Sandra as well, who is just a wizard on branding and has done some work with our members on branding as well. And actually I'm going to bring Sandra back for a few others. And then I've also done guest Master classes for some of the other women who I met in in the Mastermind as well. So it's really nice that you have that support and you're able to really get to know each other as well. 

[00:30:41] I also personally did some online courses to up level myself and up level my skills and attended a few conferences. And I also had the most amazing trip to Kajabi headquarters in October and I was invited to go to Kajabi headquarters and take part in a focus group and give them feedback on what was being offered. And I had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing business owners building their businesses on Kajabi and also as well meet the team at Kajabi headquarters just after. I loved Kajabi, but after visiting Kajabi headquarters, oh my God, I'm such a fan girl of Kajabi and seeing just how much they care about us as business owners and helping us create our businesses on Kajabi was really powerful. So all of those really, really contributed to me. 

[00:31:51] Five Xing the business in 2022. So it wasn't just one thing, it wasn't one thing that I could say did that. There was a number of different factors that were involved in that. But it was such a beautiful year for us and I have so much gratitude for all of our members who put their faith and put their trust in us and have really supported Female Fusion Network and told their friends or other entrepreneurs that they know about it because it is Female Fusion Network. We can't do this without our members and we are here to support our members and to help them start, build, grow and scale their businesses, as we say. 

[00:32:41] And so it's something that I never ever take for granted and I have so much gratitude for everybody who is our member. And I hope that by sharing all of these tips, the ways that we made changes within our business that really helped us five X that business, that it will really help yours as well. So I would love to hear from you if you feel that any of these tips that I've shared with you that work for us to five X our business, if you think that you would be able to implement them in your business. Now remember, every business is unique and things that work for me might not work for other people, but I hope that I've been able to give you some inspiration to show you what's possible. And building a business is hard work, but it is the most rewarding thing to be able to do as well. 

[00:33:44] And I hope that you are going to have the best year in business over the next year. Thanks for listening. See you next time. [00:34:03] Thanks for listening to this week's episode of the podcast. If you feel stuck in your business and frustrated that you're not making the money you want to, why not take Female Fusion Network Business Profitability Quiz? In this two minute quiz, you'll find out what your number one block is to making a profit and get sent a minitrading video and PDF download with steps to put into place right away in. Your business. You can take the quiz and find out more in the show notes and on Female Fusion Network Quiz.