Where Is Your Money Going?

    Where Is Your Money Going?

    Business owners probably lose more sleep worrying about money than the average person. Where is your money going? It’s a question that an entrepreneur needs to be able to answer with clarity. Knowing where your money is going will also help you sleep at night and will help you realize whether you need to make changes, where and how quickly.

    Businss owners need to understand income and expenses. You may not need to do all of your own bookkeeping, but you do need to know your profit margins and you need to know the bottom line on income and expenses. You should never be clueless as to how well — or how poorly — your business is doing.

    Where Is Your Money Going?

    You need to be fiscally knowledgeable. Ask your bookkeeper or accountant to explain your business finances to you and understand it — even if only on a surface level.

    Here are items you need to know inside out to be a successful entrepreneur.

    1. Who is responsible for your finances? Have you spoken with your bookkeeper or accountant recently? If not, you should make a plan to do that as soon as possible. You need to know who has his or her hands in your bank accounts, what is going on, who is being paid, who is paying you and whether you’re profitable.
    2. Do you have a financial cushion? If you suffered an income shortfall, could you bounce back? Do you have the financial resiliency necessary to continue forward in a difficult month or two? Do you have a financial advisor who will alert you if you need to course correct in the event of a financial crisis? How will you keep the lights on?
    3. Spend time monthly reflecting on the previous month’s income and expenses. What is your cash flow? Do you need to drop prices or increase prices to keep up with increases in costs from your vendors? Is your budget too tight for comfort? If one bad month will lead to your business’s demise, you need to make some changes as soon as possible. Your budget is a living, breathing entity into which you need to have clear insight.

    Bottom line: You are responsible for your business and its success and its income and expenses. This means you need to know what is going on. Don’t shut your eyes to your financial responsibilities.

     

    How To Have A Successful Business Collaboration

    How To Have A Successful Business Collaboration

    Have you ever imagined how great it would be to run your business with someone? Or to kick off a new business endeavor with someone so you don’t have to go it alone? That might not be a bad option, but how to have a successful business collaboration is something you need to put a lot of up front thought into before you sign on the dotted line with a new business partner.

    Two brains are better than one, right? Four hands will make the work move along more quickly and smoothly, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Choosing a business partner with whom to work is as important as choosing your life partner. If you’re in business with someone they can make or break the business and they can make or break your psyche.

    How To Have A Successful Business Collaboration

    • Get it in writing. What should you get in writing? Everything. From who will do what tasks. To who will answer the phone, take the mail, dump the garbage cans and perform maintenance and upkeep on computer and technology, who can spend what money and when? The items you will want to get in writing may be obvious, but they may arise during the course of a phone call, or a day int he office together, on a business trip or at a networking event. Toss out any and all items you think will go into running the business together, write it down and decide who will do what.
    • How will you communicate? Text? Phone? Email? Instant chat or a messenger app? Video chat? How often will you communicate? About what will you communicate when you’re talking so you make the best use of your time. When wlll you talk and how often do you need to be available? Will you talk on the weekends or are the weekends off limits and kept for family time?
    • How will you measure success? You need to measure success in how well you’re collaborating and how well the business is doing financially.
    • Addressing disagreements. If there is something bothering you, can you talk with your business partner or do you walk on eggshells not wanting to “rock the boat”? If you’re walking on egg shells, get out now. Better yet, don’t go into business with this person. You need to have a way to bring issues to the table and work through them together — if you can’t the partnership will not work and neither will the business.

    Start out slowly. Make all decisions together until you determine who works best in which situation and who wants to tackle certain issues. There are many successful partnerships, but they all started slowly and with the partnership strategy in writing.

    How Female Entrepreneurs Can Thrive In Biz And Life

    How Female Entrepreneurs Can Thrive In Biz And Life

    It is still pretty much a fact of life that female entrepreneurs who are also moms do take on more family-centric roles, especially when they work from home. How female entrepreneurs can thrive in biz and life is something we talk with our coaching clients about. It is easy for any work from home entrepreneur to be drawn into non business growing activities like mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, running the children to activities, cooking dinner… you get the idea.

    Juggling motherhood (and fatherhood) and a business while working from home can be challenging. We have some tips for helping entrepreneurs thrive in business and in life because what is the sense of “having it all” if you can’t enjoy it all?

    How Female Entrepreneurs Can Thrive In Biz And Life

    1. What are you committed to doing for your business? Focus on the commitments you’ve made and the commitments you have to fulfill. Don’t focus on motivating yourself to fulfill those commitments — motivation can be fleeting. You need to focus on your long term goals and how you will meet them. If you’re not motivated, you may not thrive as an entrepreneur. Your commitment will drive your motivation.
    2. Are you keeping up on your personal and professional development? It is easy to work from home and lose touch with the outside world and even current trends in your niche. You need to focus on your personal and your professional development and your business results will follow. Schedule time for personal and professional development.
    3. “I just can’t do it/have it all.” If you think that you will live that. Don’t hold onto limiting beliefs. If you want to have it all and you plan to have it all and you ask for help, you just might be able to have it all.
    4. Be creative. You may need to have more flexibility with time and resources when you’re working from home. Be creative and learn to go with the flow. Your home office may not be perfect or have a room with a view, but believe you will get there eventually and be creative with your current space.
    5. Don’t give into distractions. If there is someone there with the kids, close your office door. Let the children know that you’re working and cannot be disturbed. If the kids are at school, but the floor needs to be mopped or the lawn mowed, close the door or pull the blinds. Don’t be distracted by chores during your working hours. If you simply can’t let it go, give into your distractions on your lunch hour.

    Have fun. If you’re not having fun as an entrepreneur, why are you doing it? Sure, there are times when being a business owner simply is not a great time, but those bad times will pass. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and the fun may just flow back into your day.

    Don’t forget to practice self care. You cannot run your business and care for your family and give no thought to yourself and your self care. If you get ill or burned out, who will run your business and your life? The time you take to go to the gym, walk the dogs, lift weights or run on the treadmill is time well spent!

    What are your limiting beliefs? What is holding you back in your entrepreneurial endeavors?

    How To Give An Engaging Presentation: 5 Tips

    How To Give An Engaging Presentation: 5 Tips

    We’ve all been there. We are looking forward to a seminar or a networking event and cannot wait to hear the information from the presenter… but then it all goes downhill. It is. BORING! Don’t let that be you or your presentation! How to give an engaging presentation: 5 tips is a must-read if we do say so ourselves.

    When you’re in front of a crowd and have been asked to speak or give a presentaiton you want to be memorable for all the right reasons — that you and your speech are interesting. You don’t want people to be bored and be remembered for that, right?

    How To Give An Engaging Presentation: 5 Tips

    1. Start with a story. Chances are, if you’re speaking, people know your name and have read your bio. You don’t need to start out with, “My name is John Smith and I’m here to talk to you about XYZ.” They know. that’s why they are there! Start with a story. “I’ve been in your shoes… I never thought I’d dig myself out BUT I did and you can too!? Be relatable and offer a solution to their pain point. Sharing a story draws them in and makes them feel like they are confidants.
    2. Talk about your project or solution. Offer insight into how this has worked for others. Social proof is crucial!
    3. Ask questions. Don’t be a lecturer. Be an interactive presenter. Ask them for comments, questions, insights into their own lives and issues. Give them “tasks.”
    4. Don’t make your slides be loaded with words. Use a key word or two and an intriguing image. Speak to the audience, don’t just give them a slide show they could read without your being present.
    5. Get to know the crowd. If you think you’re speaking to an experienced level of audience but they are really beginners, you will be speaking above their head. Conversely don’t speak 101 level topics to experts. Know the crowd by asking questions to gauge what they want to know. Slant your topic toward the majority.

    Offer take aways and handouts. Or offer them a link where they can get more information BUT they have to sign up to get your newsletter first! 

    How engaging are your presentations?  

      

    Attracting And Retaining Key Personnel

    Attracting And Retaining Key Personnel

    Are you attracting and retaining key personnel? Have you found “the right” person but they leave after a brief stint with your organization? Do you know why? What are you doing to not only attract talent, but to keep them? As with attracting new customers or nurturing and keeping current customers, it is a huge amount of resources you need to put into a new employee — it’s best to retain the talent you find.

    In order to keep talent, you need to know why they’re leaving and if there is anything you can do to keep them. If they’re leaving because they were offered more money at a different position, you can’t always compete with that and after a time you will wonder if you’ve been played and if the threat of leaving for more money was just that — a threat. If that’s the case, then that person probably isn’t the “right” talent you’re seeking.

    Attracting And Retaining Key Personnel

    What can you do to make your place of employment for both in office and work from home staffers a place they want to stay?

    1. Communicate. You want to touch base with in office and out of office staff regularly. Set up a team meeting at least monthly with all staff and touch base with all employees at least weekly. Let the employee or contractor know you are available to talk with them between those meeting times, and that your door is always open. When you’re communicating with staff make certain you’re listening to what they’re saying. Ask all staffers, “What can I do or give you that will help you better perform your job?”
    2. Empowerment is key. When you let an employee take charge of his or her tasks and duties you are empowering them to take ownership and to become even more involved in their work. Make certain the roles are clearly defined; this helps everyone in their own lane and keeps projects moving forward without key components slipping through the cracks.
    3. Offer feedback. In addition to your communication meetings with key players, offer feedback and constructive criticism. Almost every conversation is a chance to offer an educational opinion.  When you give your staff feedback, they will grow into their positions. Also, when you praise a staffer for a job well done, that goes a long way toward them taking ownership in their job.

    Are you having difficulty hiring and retaining key personnel? Do exit interviews and delve into the “why” of their departure as this will help you better tailor the position for the next person because course correction may be needed.

    Have You Considered Working With A Business Coach?

    Have You Considered Working With A Business Coach?

    Is your business making the progress you’d set for yourself? Are you not making the strides you’d imagined? Have you considered working with a busines coach? A coach or mentor can halp you see your business from a new perspective and may even help you uncover new income stream ideas you had never considered.

    Many entrepreneurs say that the investment they’d made in working with a business coach was one of the factors in their business growth. I don’t just say this because I am a business coach, I say it because I have hired and have worked with a business coach of my own and in a mastermind group for many years. I see the value in a business coach to push me further, challenge my beliefs and help me put ideas into practice.

    Have You Considered Working With A Business Coach?

    • Working with a business coach will help you take thoughts and ideas and turn them into action items with specific, measurable steps toward completion.
    • Your business coach can help you determine if an opportunity is one that’s in line with your mission and vision or if it will sidetrack you. He or she will help you weigh your options and make wise decisions.
    • Accountability is key. It may not be enough to say, “I am going to complete THIS today, this week, this month or this year…” If you don’t have anyone holding your feet to the fire, it’s easy to get sidetracked. A business coach won’t do the work for you, nor will he or she nag you to do the work — if you’re committed to the coach and to your business you should be motivated.
    • A business coach is an objective, outside observer. He or she can also step in and help you look at an opportunity or a challenge in a different way and that might help you make progress.
    • If you’re a solopreneur you’re working in a silo. It’s helpful to have someone with whom to brainstorm and set priorities and break large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.

    Have you ever worked with a business coach? What was your experience? Did you feel you’d found the “right” coach? Keep in mind you should interview more than one coach to find the right fit. Let me know how your search goes!