Tag Archives: planning

Planning for success in 2017

sandra

We’re just a couple weeks shy of the end of 2016. Even if the year wasn’t everything you imagined it would be; the New Year brings with it the opportunity for a fresh start. The question is: what are you going to do with yours?

If you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to this year, it may be about more than just poor planning. Just like a house built on an unstable foundation won’t stay standing, we need to make sure that we have a solid mindset before pursuing our goals. If you pursue 2017 goals with 2016’s mindset, don’t be surprised when you get similar results!

Consider the beliefs or thoughts that held you back from doing things you knew were going to help your business. What would you need to do to shift them so that you can take those leaps of faith in the upcoming year? Whether it’s hiring a coach, attending a workshop or reading a book, there are many ways to work on your limiting beliefs.

Sometimes we’re not conscious of the beliefs that are holding us back because we’ve believed them for a very long time. Many of the limiting beliefs that we have were passed on to us by well-meaning family and friends. They too are unconscious of the fact that what they’ve shared with us causes limitations. It’s only when we start to question whether or not our beliefs truly serve us that we can identify the ones that need shifting.

If we don’t work on our mindset, we will struggle with the plan. If you are limited in your belief about what’s possible, it will undoubtedly affect the plans you put in place. Maybe you’re playing small when it comes to your goals because you don’t think you’re capable of achieving the amazing things you really want for your life. Whatever’s holding you back, know that it doesn’t have to be your reality. I truly believe that where there’s a will, there is always a way!

What are you going to do differently in 2017? What beliefs do you need to shift in order to make those changes happen? Who or where can you go to for the help you need so that you don’t sabotage your success and you can really make the New Year your best year yet? Whatever it is you need to do, write it down, give yourself a deadline and take action to make it happen!

If you’d like help with identifying your limiting beliefs so that you can pursue your 2017 goals with a mindset for success, book a complimentary, no-obligation 30 minute Clarity Session with me today!

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution. She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!

Connect:

www.embraceyourdestiny.ca

www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestiny

www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestinythebook

www.twitter.com/sandradawes

Want to plan your 2017? Enhance your planning with a Leonie Dawson Workbook

2017-workbook

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Be Fearless

Sheralyn

Typically in this space I touch upon issues of concern relative to communications in general or communications strategies for small business. Today however, I want to challenge you to face 2016 not just with improved communications skills but also with confidence, clarity of vision, a renewed focus and, this is the big one – fearlessly!

No doubt, at more than one point in your life you have been afraid. Maybe of the future, of failure at school, work or sports, afraid of giving birth (that’s a big one!) or of embarking on a new career.  What was it that helped you overcome that fear? OK, in the case of giving birth you kind of had no choice but in the absence of the onset of labour pains – what helped you to take the leap of faith necessary to move past your fears?

Perhaps your answer is “courage” or maybe “resolve.” Still others might say it was  “opportunity” or that the timing was “right.” Perhaps you were given the gift of money whether through a packaged buy – out or an inheritance. Whatever your answer, being fearless had to have been a part of the process.  This doesn’t necessarily mean to suggest you were without fear but rather, that you embraced your fear and forged ahead regardless.  So how can you encourage being fearless?

Becoming fearless involves strategy.  Yes certain elements like timing and opportunity are important but having a strategy in place that you can act upon for when the timing is right will help create potential success.  Have you, for example, made a list of the pros and cons for your potential action? Have you done research? Have you anticipated all the possible outcomes and planned for them accordingly? Have you considered getting some coaching to help you bridge the gap between your fear and your determination and resolve?  If you have a plan in place with clearly defined, specific and measurable goals this alone will help reduce your fears.  Proactive planning tools will help you to achieve your dreams and while they may not eliminate your fears entirely, they certainly help you anticipate and plan for them, reducing fear to something much more manageable.

So GET PLANNING! Be specific. Always remember however that a little bit of healthy fear is a good thing. It’s natures built in “fight or flight” response. It keeps you alert and aware to potential pitfalls but by planning for them, you can face your fears – fearlessly!

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business

writingrightforyou@gmail.com

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The Art of Delegation

yvonne

Are you struggling to get as much as possible done in a day? As a leader, entrepreneur or someone in charge of your own work, delegation can be the difference maker in being more successful both in the short and long term. While hours in a day are finite, the things we want done can seem infinite.

I had to recently force myself to delegate some tasks in order to see progress with my goals and growth of my practice. I started the year wanting to accomplish so much, however, come February, I found myself struggling, so I revisited my plan. Come March, I was still struggling, and had to face the fact that I had too many tasks on my plate, and for me to be successful come end of 2014, I would need to either let go of some items, or delegate.

For some, delegating tasks can be a huge task in itself. Perhaps it is our need to hold on to what we consider to be ‘too important’ to let someone else do it, fear it may not be done ‘as good’ as you would, or having experienced failure in delegating work in the past. While some of these reasons may seem valid, once you learn the art of delegating properly, it becomes easier and enables us achieve more in less time. Below are 5 tips to help you delegate more effectively so you can free up more of your time to do what you do best and should be doing.

 

  1. Choose Wisely

When it comes to choosing which tasks to delegate, choose tasks that only you can and should do. In my Mastermind Groups on John Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” book, John shares his 3Rs strategy in the Law of Priorities that you can also use. “What Is Required? What Gives The Greatest Return? and What Brings The Greatest Reward?” Get rid of tasks that you can’t do, not interested in doing, or someone can do even 80% as well as you, but brings less reward or return on time invested.

  1. Have a System

Know what, when and who to delegate to. Effectively plan your time daily and in advance so you know what YOU need to do, what other items still need to be done, and by when. Know your team or colleagues well; know their strengths, interests, skills etc. Armed with this knowledge, you are better delegate tasks to the right individuals and at the right time. Other systems include the Pareto 80:20 Principle from John Maxwell, where focusing on the top 20% of your activities will give you 80% of your results.

  1. Empower Your Team and Colleagues

Before delegating, ensure the individual has the ability, is provided clear directions, and has been empowered to use their initiative and make decisions when needed. Start by providing the required training or hiring the right resource after proper interviewing. Spend time with them at the beginning to help ingrain the culture, vision, value and goals; this helps them to more easily take the right actions as needed. Provide clear instructions along with tasks striking that fine balance between being too vague and micro-managing. Be open to the fact they may choose a different route to arrive at the finish line. And be willing to give them the benefit of doubt if not done right the first time.

  1. Balance the Workload

Delegate workload evenly. In many organizations, there are often the few “go-tos” when it comes to task delegation, which can result in these employees becoming overburdened, overworked, and deadlines being missed. Be willing to trust others, and cross-train the team in order to empower more people to deliver and also building a stronger team.

  1. Give Credit When Credit is Due

Always be gracious and thankful when the individual gets the task done, and openly give them credit so that everyone can acknowledge their hard work.  It builds trust, helps them feel valued, and not only will this inspire them to continue to work hard, it will also inspire others to have that same attitude and become more productive.

To learn about Yvonne’s latest book on Changing your Mindset for greater results, visit http://www.oliveblue.com/changeyourmindset/

Yvonne is an Author, Speaker, Change Consultant & John Maxwell Leadership Coach who is passionate about working with Individuals, Entrepreneurs and Organisations to help implement change they want and achieve their goals.   

She can be reached at: www.oliveblue.com . www.facebook.com/oliveblueinc . www.twitter.com/oliveblueinc.www.youtube.com/ChangeYouWantTV

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What Is The Deal With Membership Sites?

Malene Jorgensen

A membership site as a business model is becoming a very interesting way of doing business. Many people have found that teasing some content in a webinar and then offering paid content to customers is a profitable way of doing business. For example, a personal coach gives a webinar on the importance of having a healthy life in all aspects.

Once the webinar is done, the creator will give a discount on a course or a membership deal that gives customers tools to get that ideal lifestyle. This can be PDFs, videos and other goodies, only accessible via a paid membership.

This is a business model that has grown tremendously over the past year. But as with any business model, this is not a guaranteed model. Even though some people have found success using this model, this is far from a successful one. Many people will simply copy concepts and information already used by professionals.

In addition, there are marketing hurdles, as webinars are best marketed on social media pages. But you will be competing with all other webinars and memberships available online.

If you can put your own twist on this membership business structure, feel free to try it out.

 

Malene Jorgensen is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Jorgensen is passionate about online content, blogging, online business development and e-commerce. She owns an international media publishing company and a design studio. Jorgensen has written several books that are sold in over 50 countries. She is also obsessed with coffee and Twitter. You can reach Malene Jorgensen at Website | LinkedIn | Twitter Instagram

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10 tips to Cut costs, Increase sales, and Save time

Jemi

For every small business, there will always be costs to be paid out. The trick is to receive more business than having to pay bills. Whether you are a small start-up company or a retail store, these tips you can do right now. Marketing and advertising doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. With a little planning and some time, you can achieve the results you want. Try all of these tips once and track the progress. If it works, great! Do it again. If it doesn’t, note why you think it didn’t and how you would do it over again.

Tip#1 Know your customer! A pet peeve of mine is when an entrepreneur will tell me that EVERYONE is their customer. Although it is true that we can take business from anyone, there will be a group of people that will be your primary customer. This is the “type” of customer that buys from you regularly. They say 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. Get to know your customers very well. Learn about their buying habits, their education, and lifestyle.

Tip#2 Following the previous tip, create a customer management system. This means a database where you place all your customers information including birthdays, anniversaries, spouse’s name and number (for gifts), and any other information that you can use to personalize the experience for your customer. These types of small gestures will bring a lot of business over time and a loyal clientele base.

Tip#3 Hire a student. College and University students are looking for experience in their field. You can hire them for an hourly basis or per contract. For example, I had a business mentor that didn’t have time to punch in her receipts into her excel so she hired an accountant student to simply punch in her numbers. The student gets extra money and the business owner has more time to do what they love to do.

Tip#4 Do not go with a very elaborate website. Start with something small and simple then work your way up when your business grows.

Tip#5 Try a joint venture. During your travels as an entrepreneur you’ll find some great people in the same industry but are not your competition.(For example; a makeup artist and hairdresser) These two professions are not in competition but they do cater to same market. You can join together on marketing (IE one business gets one side of a postcard, and the other has the opposite. Together you can split the cost of printing and get your business out there twice as fast)

Tip#6 Know your competition. Do a SWOT analysis of your greatest competition. “S” stands for strengths. What does your competition do better than you? “W” stands for weakness. What does your competition lack? “O” stands for opportunity. How can you improve your business from your strengths and weaknesses? “T” stands for threats. Where can your competition really hurt your business?

Tip#7 Barter goods. When you make great connections with other businesses, you can sometimes barter for goods. This means providing a service for a service instead of using money. You may give a service of printing business cards to get your car detailed for instance. This is a win-win relationship.

Tip#8 Track your invoices, receipts, and bill payments. When you have a handle of your finances, you are able to see where you are making the most money and how. Keep a journal and calendar on when bills need to get paid and when invoices are being charged.

Tip #9 Conduct surveys regularly. The best way to improve your business is to find out directly from your customers. Give coupons or discounts to your customers for participating in the survey.

Tip #10 Give out useful information for free. Your brain is full of so much expertise. Create opportunities to showcase your talents. You can hold free webinars. Volunteer to speak at different engagements. Write articles for different newspapers.

These ten tips will increase your bottom line immediately and save you money. Not every business owner has thousands of dollars to hire an advertising agency. Become an expert in your own marketing.

For more information contact Jemi Echevarria, marketing campaign manager at

(647)785-5851 or jemiechevarria@gmail.com

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What Is The Deal With Membership Sites?

Malene Jorgensen

A membership site as a business model is becoming a very interesting way of doing business. Many people have found that teasing some content in a webinar and then offering paid content to customers is a profitable way of doing business. For example, a personal coach gives a webinar on the importance of having a healthy life in all aspects.

Once the webinar is done, the creator will give a discount on a course or a membership deal that gives customers tools to get that ideal lifestyle. This can be PDFs, videos and other goodies, only accessible via a paid membership.

This is a business model that has grown tremendously over the past year. But as with any business model, this is not a guaranteed model. Even though some people have found success using this model, this is far from a successful one.  Many people will simply copy concepts and information already used by professionals.

In addition, there are marketing hurdles, as webinars are best marketed on social media pages. But you will be competing with all other webinars and memberships available online.

If you can put your own twist on this membership business structure, feel free to try it out.

Malene Jorgensen is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Jorgensen is passionate about online content, blogging, online business development and e-commerce. She owns an international media publishing company and a design studio. Jorgensen has written several books that are sold in over 50 countries. She is also obsessed with coffee and Twitter. You can reach Malene Jorgensen at Website | LinkedIn | Twitter Instagram

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Planning for the Unexpected

Tamara high res 1 

One of the central themes I think all entrepreneurs can agree on, (no matter what the industry) is that the ‘unexpected’ is inevitable.  Change happens whether it is a slight interruption of your day, (“Can we change our appointment to Tuesday?”), or a money draining, time consuming printing error.

As an entrepreneur who talks about (and advocates) for planning, people often ask me why they should bother planning when it is just going to change anyways. For those of you who may ask the same question or could use a little planning inspiration, the following is how (and why) I think you should do it anyways.

Planning creates momentum. When you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you are taking an action step – even if it is just getting an idea out of your mind. This momentum is often the thing that you need when those unexpected things arise. To use an analogy, it would be like a long distance runner who just pulled a muscle at the last mile of a race. Having all of that hard work, training and road behind him – a pulled muscle is not going to prevent him from crossing the finish line.  He (or she) has momentum and that counts for something.

Planning naturally reveals priorities. Looking at your current calendar/day timer – even a stranger could tell what you are putting your most time and energy towards. Priorities, whether family, work or your physical well-being will always ‘rise to the top’ and can handle a some unexpected circumstances because they matter that much to you. Have some confidence that if the unexpected happens, the things that matter the most to you will still get done.

Lastly, you can plan for the unexpected by giving yourself pre-determined flex time. No, you can’t say for sure what will end up taking that time. But, if your priorities are set and you still give time for things that you don’t expect, it does not have to be a stressor in your life. Even the great Tony Robbins is famously quoted saying “ …if you schedule it, it’s real”. That is why I suggest not packing your schedule so tight that one thing ‘not going right’, could negatively affect the rest of your day – and maybe even your week.

Having a mindset that ‘expects the unexpected’, as well as having the principles we have talked about in this article built in to your entrepreneurial habits will certainly help along your journey. So remember: Get your ideas out, plan for flex time and keep your priorities non-negotiable. Then plan on success.

Tamara is the owner and designer at ‘Your Pretty Pages’ where she provides templates, planners, guides and resources for creative entrepreneurs to get organized and plan productively and purposefully. To see her newest Essentials Pack of planning pages visit here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/yourprettypages

 

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Personal Business Planning

Tamara 14 (1)

When you hear the term ‘Business Plan’, you may immediately picture the intense moment of pitching an idea to an investor, hoping to secure some funding for your growing business. In this moment, the investors are going to want to see all of your numbers; sales, equity offer, profit margins etc. All of which would be in a professionally presented ‘Business Plan’. What I am introducing here is a different kind of business planning that is created for you, by you. A Personal Business Plan.

Why, (you may be wondering) do you need a ‘Personal’ Business plan? I propose that writing a vision for your business beyond a mission statement (as well as creating a system to work though strategies for growth), will help keep you aligned to your ‘big’ picture of your business and it’s potential future. Whether you will need partners in the future – planning your business with a personal approach can help you reach those goals by laying a foundation that is specifically aligned to your skills, abilities and personal preferences in business (Note: this isn’t the plan that you would share with the bank. This one is just for you).

A ‘Personal Business Plan’ (from my perspective) still dives into the nuts and bolts of business. Covering all of the basics from defining your customer avatar to building a brand to planning a promotion. The difference is that the plans you make relate to who you are as a person and what you want for your future. Here is what I mean:

Within ‘Personal Business Plans’, I encourage you to ask yourself questions that only you can answer; instead of thinking about what someone else may think is ‘right’. These questions will help you identify the lifestyle and purpose around your business, which will inevitably increase personal satisfaction and intrinsic motivation in the long run. Using ‘Defining Customer Avatar’ as an example. Instead of just asking: ‘Who has the most money to spend in this category?’ (Which I still think you need to ask), I suggest thinking about how you personally relate and whom you want to work with. For example: If part of your life experience has included raising children in a rural community with no access to recreation programs – you would probably understand that particular population on a level that cannot be identified on paper. Lifestyle wise, if you are in a season of your life where you want to be traveling, this is where you would ask yourself ‘Will my ideal client/avatar be interested in attending VIP event across the country?’ .If they aren’t – are you willing to sacrifice that need of yours? Or do you need too? Only you know.

Asking questions is part of the process; the other aspect of Personal Business Planning is to reference your future vision with daily choices. When you craft your plans in a way that includes your ultimate goals it can steer you in a direction that you are going to be happy with in the long run. An investor may not know that you see yourself living in on a beach in Hawaii or helping to raise your grandchildren in how ever many years.

Personal Business Planning is a strategy that I have seen many successful female entrepreneurs embrace and I encourage you to try it out and see if it can guide you to the next stage of your growing business.

Tamara is the owner and designer at ‘Your Pretty Pages’ where she provides templates, planners, guides and resources for creative entrepreneurs to get and stay organized. To support your successful personal business planning, Tamara has just released two savings bundles of templates in her shop found here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/yourprettypages

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Why It Is Important To Keep Growing

 

 

Malene Jorgensen

 

 

As business owners, we start out with a business idea. That business idea gets altered, changed, developed and broken down during the business planning process. Here, we test the idea, examine our concepts and really figure out if this is indeed a viable business idea.

But part of the business planning is also looking at how the business idea could develop over time. We may start with one product or service, and be so invested in this one idea that we can’t look at other ways to build the business.

It is important to keep developing your business brand, because any given industry is changing constantly. New software programs are introduced, new business tools become available and your customers may want new things. It is important to have ideas as to how you can develop your business down the line.

While this planning may not be something you are thinking about as you start out, it is always good to have some ideas brewing. Like a business plan, these ideas will change with time. What you may see happening during your first year in business may completely change once you reach the third year.

With a plan in mind to grow your company, you may find yourself needing more experience and education. And self-growth is the key to running a successful business.

So – get going! Create a long list of ideas to assist you in future growth.

Malene Jorgensen is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Jorgensen is passionate about online content, blogging, online business development and e-commerce. She owns an international media publishing company and a design studio. Jorgensen has written several books that are sold in over 50 countries. She is also obsessed with coffee and Twitter. You can reach Malene Jorgensen at Website | LinkedIn | Twitter Instagram

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Successful Planning, Successful Week

Tamara 14 (1)

Planning your workweek in business can sound like a simple process – but if you have ever been interrupted, fell behind on deadlines or forgotten an appointment, this article is for you. I believe it’s not about managing every minute, it’s a new fresh perspective that includes being prepared, flexible and in-line with your work habits, style and personal preferences.

To plan a successful week I have used my experience with other female entrepreneurs who care about accomplishing a lot within a week and found some universal strategies that can be utilized in almost any business out there.

  • Schedule the unexpected:

Business owners are some of the most motivated people I have ever met so I find ‘over-planning’ to be a problem for a lot of us. This happens when we fill every moment of our calendar and fall behind immediately when even one phone call goes over our allotted time. This can cause stress for not only the day, but for the rest of the week as we play ‘catch-up’ to get back on schedule. A way that I have found to combat this issue is to dedicate some time in your week for ‘yet-to-be-determined’ tasks, projects or obligations. Later in the week is usually best. When you aren’t able to finish something in the time you allot or you get an unexpected request, you are able to now be flexible and rely on the safety net you have designed into your week already.

  • Identify low energy tasks:

It’s natural to have fluctuations in your energy levels as your day progresses. You may feel sharp, motivated and full of energy in the morning or feel tired and a little stiff in the afternoon. It’s easy to identify these times when you are experiencing them, harder to match your tasks to that energy if you are not prepared. The way to do this is to schedule tasks that require less concentration with those low energy times beforehand. Give yourself some time to answer ‘general email’ questions, tidy up your desk or look on social media when you are feeling less energized and save high-energy times for creative, developing and more intense projects. This will help you balance your day, which will help your overall week.

  • Pick a focus:

Within each of our businesses, there is always something that needs attention. Instead of trying to do everything all at once, my recommendation is to pick one focus and stick to it. This produces success because you are not reacting to interruptions, which take you away from that highly productive and focused work. You may be thinking that it is not practical to only do one thing a day – your emails still need to be answered. The way to do it successfully is to keep your focused work (what you really want to complete) in one of the higher energy times of your day (as identified in the previous topic). This gives you quality time that is in-line with your already established habits to really get it done.

  • Bundle ‘Away’ tasks:

Luckily we are in charge of our schedules so we can decide when to do our supply shopping, networking events, doctor’s appointments and ‘out-of-office’ tasks. I have always recommended that business owners pick a time in their week – every week that will be dedicated to these tasks. The benefits are far reaching as you are not only creating habits for yourself, but also creating reasonable expectations from others in your life. Which could be customers, family and also make delivery schedules more regular. I often recommend scheduling these days in the middle of the week when you may just need a change of scenery too.

Overall, when you see how much choice you have in planning your week and use these strategies to integrate your personal preferences you are going to be able to get more done in your week and enjoy it along the way.

Tamara is the owner and designer at ‘Your Pretty Pages’ where she provides templates, planners, guides and resources for creative entrepreneurs to get and stay organized. To support your successful planning, Tamara has just released two all new version’s of the ‘Entrepreneur’s Planner’ which can be found at https://yourprettypages.com/planners/

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