Business Can Bloom with the Season

Business Can Bloom with the Season

Random Chats
As the weather changes and we gear up for the hot summer ahead, I am reminded that nature is a great compass. How many of you adjust your business activities with the seasons? All the beauty of nature is in full bloom, is your business blooming as well? Naturally we spend more time outdoors socializing in the summer. Thus we may stumble upon any number of impromptu business opportunities while going about our daily routines. The question is, are you prepared to do business at any time? Does your elevator pitch need tweaking? How do you get people to notice you and your brand? Do you host summer events, sponsor any sports-related activities, or perhaps take advantage of all the conferences and socials happening during this time of year? Like many folks from the Northeast, I can't…
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Networking: The Conversation Just Started

Networking: The Conversation Just Started

Networking
If you are a current (or aspiring) business owner or self-employed by any means, you already know you can only eat if you make sales. With that being said, what are you doing to keep yourself fed? When you’re out attending events, traveling and otherwise  “networking”, what do you do when you get home? Networking is only useful if you FOLLOW UP to build the relationship and actually make a sale/gain a referral/gain a resource to grow your business. Thus we have today’s quick tip: don’t waste time networking if you’re not going to follow-up on the contacts you make. Attending networking events costs money, time and resources, so why not take the initiative to follow-up with interesting people you meet? Note: do not become a spammy salesperson. You can plan to…
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Business Cards Are Essential for Offline Networking

Business Cards Are Essential for Offline Networking

Networking
Most of us still use business cards on a regular basis to communicate who we are, what we do, etc. Yet so many seemingly professional people do not adhere to basic business card rules. Thus my cheat sheet on business card essentials. I didn't think I needed to spell these out, but I'm often taken aback by how many times I meet a business owner that either runs out of business cards or doesn't have pertinent information listed on the card. Don't you know, business card marketing is alive and well! Tsk tsk...  Here are just a few business card essentials for your offline networking. Keep it current Make sure you have business cards with your current contact information on you at all times. You can't predict when a business opportunity…
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Working Full Time and Part Time Can Work!

Working Full Time and Part Time Can Work!

Tips and Tools
I try to start every work day by reading a thought-provoking business article of inspiration to get me motivated. This morning was no exception, and I was inspired to deliver this quick post. I work at a full-time corporate job while running my consulting business part-time and have done so for several years. It is with this arrangement that I have been able to meet some fascinating people and explore so many opportunities that I wouldn't have been able to leverage as easily otherwise. All the while I have been able to hone my leadership skills while managing other people's schedules, projects, and implementing their strategic objectives. I still find time to volunteer time as a mentor, committee member, etc. as I connect the dots between my day job, consulting biz, and personal passions. You'll never…
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Marketing Budget Mindset: Tightwad or Splurger?

Tips and Tools
For some reason, when people are starting a new business venture, they usually fall into two camps when it comes to marketing budgets: tightwads or splurgers. Typically, the tightwads don’t want to spend money on anything, thinking their grand business concept will appeal to everyone and magically lead all these fascinated customers straight to their sales door. At the other extreme are the splurgers, who throw money at their new concept and buy a bunch of promotional items they call “marketing” with the business name plastered all over everything. If I gave you a keychain with my business name on it, how can you possibly NOT buy something from me? Yes, I'm being sarcastic. If you even remotely recognize yourself as falling into one of these categories, listen up: run to the…
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Solopreneurs Need Staff Meetings Too!

Solopreneurs Need Staff Meetings Too!

Tips and Tools
Yes, the title is an oxymoron, but indulge me for a moment. This post came about because I am often asked how I keep track of all the different aspects of running a business as a solopreneur. As a solopreneur you're pretty much responsible for wearing EVERY hat in the company - accounting, marketing, IT, snacks - you already know this. As I started attending more events, growing the biz and just getting busier, I needed to get a better handle on all the different aspects of running my business, not just "get the client and do the work". Sound familiar?? One day I'll grow to the point where I need to hire employees. In the meantime, I needed a way to organize all the "departments" in my business. This got…
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Taking My Own Advice

Random Chats
Uh-oh, the month is half-way over. For those of you who understood (and probably joined to some extent) my Happy New Year on April 1st, how has the month been treating you so far? This month I've been focusing on redefining my business actions and vision. More importantly, I'm being completely honest with what I want to do and where I envision myself in the next few years. You know what I've figured out? That I don't EXACTLY know where I want to be, and it's ok! I envision having a virtual marketing consulting business, but how do I get there, being completely virtual? Do I have a full roadmap to get there? Nope, but I'm working on it. Luckily, I interact with some business visionaries that are already successfully pulling this off. They…
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I’m ALL IN, Are You?

I’m ALL IN, Are You?

Random Chats
Last week I participated in a fun Facebook group chat with the publisher of the new e-magazine Going Pro.  So we're chatting and our moderator/publisher Stephanie poses the question: What is possible when you really go ALL IN? Well, this got me to thinking, especially since this is a phrase I use quite often. The problem is, I don't know the answer...YET.   Have you ever truly gone ALL IN and put forth 99.99% effort to building the business of your dreams, even if only for a short period of time? How much "productive" time do you actually spend daily? I'm not talking about the half-a$$ busy work you do, I'm talking real strategy and execution of your ideas. Be honest: write that number down, and then throw it away! Two weeks ago…
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