Archive for the ‘Small Business’ category

Once Upon a Napkin

April 6, 2011

I’m reposting this blog from my friend Linda who is the founder of Affiliated Women Intl (AWI), which is Enriching Women Worldwide. I’m a member and co-Director of our local neighborhood networking group. The Tulsa AWI Neighborhood Gathering meets every 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 11am at the Agora Coffee House. Check out the website at http://www.affiliatedwomen.net.

Strange title and funny thought.

Early a.m. I was thinking about some videos I watched on Sunday from a site entitled “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur“.  The videos are quite informative and I was educated & impressed with the material. So as I thought about his clever title, I was reminded of how often great ideas start on something so simple as a NAPKIN!  Usually over a meal as two folks share ideas and one grabs a napkin and starts recording the brilliance.

I’ve been known to do the same.  In fact, I framed a NAPKIN from the oldest ristorante in Venice with the date 1600-something. I mean, that napkin tells me that a business has survived for nearly 400 years – same city; same location!

How many great ideas do you know that first found life on a NAPKIN?  I bet each of you have done the same – an idea is spawned over lunch or coffee and before you know it, the nearest napkin becomes the seed of greatness.

Great business doesn’t have to start with an awesome business plan unless one plans to seek financial support for the effort.  It doesn’t have to start with a full-blown strategic plan with all aspects perfectly in place. A NAPKIN will do.  All great ideas need is someone to record them, believe in them, nurture them and put forth the sweat equity it takes to make them happen!

In fact, I believe the best laid plans for any project begin on a NAPKIN.  There’s something about the simplicity of rapidly scribbling notes on a soft white piece of not-really-paper, that makes it seem much more realistic and feasible.  I recall stuffing a pile of napkins in my purse after a meal that turned into an awesome brainstorming session.  As I pulled them out upon returning home, I was impressed with how much a NAPKIN will hold of collective brainpower.

If you’re in business now or thinking seriously about entering the world of the entrepreneur; may I suggest you gather a group of bright folks about you over a meal.  Start sharing your thoughts and see what happens. . .

And make certain you have ample NAPKINS about you, for you may never have another opportunity to begin a remarkable journey with an incredible outcome as you do the day you begin with “once upon a NAPKIN”.

Then add a bit of BELIEF. Belief that you can do it! Belief that what sits on that napkin you pull from your purse is possible. Then sprinkle those thoughts with energy, creativity and determination.

I leave this post with words from the famed British tenor (and my favorite), Russell Watson from a recent newspaper interview:

“The most important thing in life is self-belief. You have to believe in yourself and be convinced you can achieve the very best you’re capable of. Everyone is surrounded by people trying to pull them down, but the test of a man is his self-belief.” I might add the “test of a woman is her self-belief!

And plenty of NAPKINS!

Warmly,

Linda

Share with us below some of the great ideas that you have put on a napkin.

About Linda: I’m a ‘vintage woman’ traveling well into the 2nd half of the journey. My background is in counseling education & organizational development. Most of the work I’ve done over the years has been in O.D. – program & project development & management, including fund-raising as a development officer & a consultant. For a few years, after moving back to home territory to be close to daughters and adorable g’children, I engaged in private practice professional therapeutic intervention. I gave that up after only a few years & now consider myself to be a “recovering professional therapist!” Quite frankly, coaching & mentoring are a whole lot more fun & less stressful as well!
You can connect with Linda and/or AWI Tulsa on:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/lindaAWI or http://twitter.com/#!/AWITulsa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AWITulsa?ref=ts or https://www.facebook.com/affiliatedwomen?ref=ts
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20 Keys to Successful Self-Employment

March 23, 2011
new office

20 Keys to Successful Self-Employment

WRITTEN ON AUGUST 10, 2010 BY SANDY IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

http://thedreamingcafe.com/2010/08/10/20-keys-successful-selfemployment/

Sandy gives some great tips on being a successful entrepreneur and I wanted to share these tips with you.

1. Believe in your ability to accomplish what you have set out to do.

2. Believe that you have something of value to offer.

3. Believe in your ability to present your expertise in ways that will benefit others.

4. Believe in yourself and your dreams even when no one else does.

5. Seek out inspiration on a daily basis.

6. Find a community of support that will be there to encourage you and cheer you on when needed.

7. Take responsibility for your own success by creating a plan and working your plan.

8. Take action every single day no matter how small a step.

9. Challenge yourself and take a giant leap every now and again.

10. Be clear about what you want and define what success means to you.

11. Create both short-term and long-range goals and action plans to go with them.

12. Evaluate your progress on a consistent basis and ask yourself if you are meeting your goals and why or why not?

13. Keep doing what needs to be done whether you feel like it or not.

14. Recognize when to push and when to slow down.

15. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

16. Spend less than you earn.

17. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, develop multiple profit centers.

18. Start with one idea, develop it, roll it out, evaluate the results and repeat.

19. You don’t have to do it all yourself; ask for help and collaborate with others.

20. Invest in lifelong learning and building relationships, both personally and professionally.

ABOUT KAREN: Karen, is a Military Transition Specialist and Creative Career Specialist, and owner of Give Yourself Power. She has helped others find their true calling to work at what they love and love what they do. She loves it when the light bulb goes off for a client when they realize that with hard work, belief, and the willingness to do their part they CAN do what they love and make an income from it!

If you’re serious about laying the foundation to starting your own business go to www.giveyourselfpower.com/contact.html to sign up for your free 15 minute intake.

Karen@giveyourselfpower.com – email
http://www.facebook.com/GiveYourselfPower
http://www.twitter.com/KarenMHeck
http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenheck

Know Your Client

March 17, 2011
Customer service

Image by Torley via Flickr

I went to a presentation for a particular product and I went to buy, because I already knew this was something I wanted to try. During the presentation they go over the varies products and then they go over if you decide, you can work it as a business, but they make it very clear that the products are for everyone, but the business is not. So once the meeting was over I wanted to find out how much it would cost me for the items I wanted.

Instead of giving me the price, the person that invited me to the presentation keep talking about all the products, what they do, and the scientific facts of it all, and about the business plan. Once again, I ask about the cost of the products I was interested in, because I’d already done my research and  knew what I wanted.

Instead of the person playing attention to what I was saying they kept going on and on about everything else except what I was interest in. It grated my nerves so bad that I couldn’t wait to get out of the place and knew that I would  have to find someone who sold this product line that I was interested in so I could get the items I wanted.

The sad part is they don’t realize that they lost a client, because, they were so busy trying to sale me on stuff I wasn’t interested in instead of making sure they understood what my needs and desire were.

Know your clients, listen and I mean truly listen to them. Most will let you know what they’re needs, wants, and desires are. There are very few that have to be pushed into getting what they really want and if they do have to be pushed into it then they are not your ideal client. The car dealerships have finally learned this lesson. Buyers are more informed and most have already done their homework and research on what products they plan to buy.

Once a client makes up their mind what it is they want to buy they are ready to buy without any more prodding or pushing. Sometimes we are so focus on giving the person more than what they need or ask for that we miss out on the sale and repeat business. Remember less is more and the more you give the more you might talk yourself right out of a sale!

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, EZINE, OR WEB SITE? You can as long as you include the following:

ABOUT KAREN: Karen, is a Military Transition Specialist and owner of Give Yourself Power. She has helped others find their true calling to work at what they love and love what they do. She loves it when the light bulb goes off for a client when they realize that with hard work, belief, and the willingness to do their part they CAN do what they love and make an income from it!

If you’re serious about laying the foundation to starting your own business go to www.giveyourselfpower.com/contact.html to sign up for your free 15 minute intake.

Karen@giveyourselfpower.com – email
http://www.facebook.com/GiveYourselfPower
http://www.twitter.com/KarenMHeck
http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenheck

Frantic Is Not A Strategy

February 9, 2011

Someone that I now consider a friend as well as a business co-heart wrote the following post and I just had to repost and share it with you. Linda, has some wonderful information and great tips to help you understand that “Frantic” is not a strategy and not a great place to work from…Enjoy!

Ever meet with someone who was so frantic to get your business that you wanted to bolt from the room?

What many folks don’t realize is that even when trying their best to hide how frantic they are to build a business, others sense it and do their best to avoid being anywhere near.

I know that the economic downturn, lay-off and/or forced “retirement” or buy-outs are practical reasons to be frantic – about everything! But the truth is, our being frantic won’t raise the potential that folks will buy our product or contract our services. In fact, when our antennae pick up frenetic activity, we’re most likely to pretend we don’t see or hear.

Frantic is never a strategy in which we ought to engage. And if we are overly eager to reel in a new customer, then at least let’s be honest about it. Reveal our true motives and give the other the respect they deserve.  They know it anyway so pretending we’re calm, cool & collected is a farce and insult to the intelligence of others.

Here’s some practical tips:

1). Develop a true strategy based on realistic and practical facts
2). Determine the basics – what will it take to keep a roof overhead, gas in the vehicle and food on the table
3). Don’t load the strategy with wants & desires. They will come quickly enough.
4). Determine who’s your most likely client-customer. Develop a profile of her/him. Determine who knows them, where to find them or who in your circle of influence ‘hangs out’ with them.
5). Set out to find the right folks who can get you with the “most likely”. Anything else is time-wasted.
6). Realize that you may need the sale yesterday; but your client is in charge. He/she needs time to make a decision.
7). Put your best forward. Be calm, honest & forthright in your approach – then leave it in the hands of the potential client.
8). Don’t walk too briskly away as if on to the next “kill”. Take time to get to know the prospective client.
9). If he/she says “no” or “not now”; ask who they know. And get them to introduce you to their possibilities.
10).Unless you know the person well, best not to ask “why”.  However, ask questions that will help you improve your approach with the anticipation that what you hear will help you get better & better at what you do.

And remember that by being frantic, the outcome you desire is less likely to happen. So don’t put the “F” word into your strategic plan. And certainly don’t let it be the face (or body language) you present to the next person with whom you sit over coffee.

Warmly. . .

Linda, a recovering frenetic female
http://www.affiliatedwomen.ning.com/

Linda is in her own words ” I’m a ‘vintage woman’ traveling well into the 2nd half of the journey. My background is in counseling education & organizational development. Most of the work I’ve done over the years has been in O.D. – program & project development & management, including fund raising as a development officer & a consultant. For a few years, after moving back to home territory to be close to daughters and adorable g’children, I engaged in private practice professional therapeutic intervention. I gave that up after only a few years & now consider myself to be a “recovering professional therapist!” Quite frankly, coaching & mentoring are a whole lot more fun & less stressful as well!”

 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, EZINE, OR WEB SITE? You can as long as you include the following:

ABOUT KAREN: Karen, is a Military Transition Specialist and owner of Give Yourself Power. She has helped others find their true calling to work at what they love and love what they do. She loves it when the light bulb goes off for a client when they realize that with hard work, belief, and the willingness to do their part they CAN do what they love and make an income from it!

If you’re serious about laying the foundation to starting your own business go to www.giveyourselfpower.com/contact.html to sign up for your free 15 minute intake.

Karen@giveyourselfpower.com – email
http://www.facebook.com/GiveYourselfPower
http://www.twitter.com/KarenMHeck
http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenheck

 

Entrepreneurs take chances despite economy

February 4, 2011

There are many benefits for owning your own home business, but in this blog I’m going to discuss only 5 of those reasons

1. You don’t have to worry about commuting to work – Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American fact finder http://tinyurl.com/4tveu7l a person spend 25.1 minutes on average commute.

2. When the weather is nasty outside you don’t have to worry about not being able to get to work or having a work stoppage. Due to this week’s bad weather across the country a lot of businesses had to shut down due to the owners and employees were not able to get to work.

Taken by Karen Heck outside my home

3. You have minimum or not at all overhead cost. You don’t have to worry about the cost of rent for a building and everything that comes with that, you do not have to worry about a payroll, and last, but not least, you don’t have to worry about purchasing new clothes and/or worry about what you have to wear to work.

4. With gas prices and the cost of food on the rise, these will be fewer things that you won’t have to worry about providing every day. You can set your own work hours.

5. If you have children – child care for younger children is another cost you can save on. When your children are sick or those unexpected days off from school you don’t have to stress about finding someone to take care of them or worry about taking time off work.

If you’re an entrepreneur and thinking about starting/creating your own business, but worried about starting it in this economy, click on the link and watch the attached video from 2 News Work for You – Entrepreneurs Taking a Chance

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, EZINE, OR WEB SITE? You can as long as you include the following:

ABOUT KAREN: Karen, is a Military Transition Specialist and owner of Give Yourself Power. She has helped others find their true calling to work at what they love and love what they do. She loves it when the light bulb goes off for a client when they realize that with hard work, belief, and the willingness to do their part they CAN do what they love and make an income from it!

If you’re serious about laying the foundation to starting your own business go to www.giveyourselfpower.com/contact.html to sign up for your free 15 minute intake.

Karen@giveyourselfpower.com – email
http://www.facebook.com/GiveYourselfPower
http://www.twitter.com/KarenMHeck
http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenheck

Who do You have in Your Corner?

January 20, 2011

Most of us have a healthy network of friends and family who are our supporters in our personal lives. Just like we have that support in our personal lives we need support from several people in our professional pursuits. In today’s blog I’m going to be discussing three types of people you want to consider having  in your corner to help you make it as a solo-entrepreneur. This would be especially true if you’re transitioning from the military to entrepreneurship since  this might be a totally new terrority for you.

#1 – The Supporter – this person supports you in all you do. They are your cheerleaders. They’re the ones that believe in you, your dreams, and will help you find ways to make them work! They will keep you real about what it is you are seeking to do, but they won’t be nay-sayers or bubble poppers. They want you to succeed, but they are not a “yes” person just to be saying “yes”.

#2 – The Informationist – this person is a researcher and information gatherer. They will do the grunt work that you don’t want or like to do. They will give you enough, and maybe even more than enough information you need to get you from where you are to where you want to be. This is important, because the lack of pertinent and correct information can “maim” a business.

#3 – Accountability Partner – this person will keep you honest and on track. They will check in with you and make sure you are doing what you say you’re going to do to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. They will make you check in with reality, but not discourage you.

As you add these three types of people in your business life you’ll find that they will be a big help in supporting you to get your business up and running and to help you keep you on track and focus

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, EZINE, OR WEB SITE? You can as long as you include the following:

ABOUT KAREN: Karen, is a Military Transition Specialist and owner of Give Yourself Power. She has helped others find their true calling to work at what they love and love what they do. She loves it when the light bulb goes off for a client when they realize that with hard work, belief, and the willingness to do their part they CAN do what they love and make an income from it!

If you’re serious about laying the foundation to starting your own business go to www.giveyourselfpower.com/contact.html to sign up for your free 15 minute intake.

Karen@giveyourselfpower.com – email
http://www.facebook.com/GiveYourselfPower
http://www.twitter.com/KarenMHeck
http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenheck

It’s A New Year

January 1, 2011
The New Year Countdown. Venue: Marina Bay, Sin...

Image by williamcho via Flickr

Almost every one is making some sort of New Year’s resolution and for most of us we might make it through the first 31 days of the year and then it’s back to the same ole same ole. I would like to encourage you this year not to allow your dreams, plans, passion and desires to go to waste too quickly.

I want you to remember upfront, that as soon as you make your resolution that you’re going to encounter some bumps, some slow downs, some frustrations, some people who don’t want to see you succeed (haters/those that don’t have dreams of their own), and last but not least, your own worst enemy – You.  You’re going to find out that you will get in your own way more than you thought. As much as you don’t want to admit it, you’re going to find yourself self-sabotaging your own plans, passion, and dreams for various reasons. My encouragement to you when this happens, is to take a step back, a deep breath, and remind yourself why you allowed yourself to set the New Year’s resolution(s) in the first place.

My goals this year are to spend more time with God through prayer and meditation, to love my husband more deeply, to give more than I gave last year to those charities that are important and are of interest to me, add more time for nurturing and growing my business (by investing more in me, my training, and learning), to read more, to play more, and last but not least to love and be proud of the achievement I’m accomplishing more. Like you, I’m going to have to take a step back, a deep breath, and remind myself why I allowed myself to set these goals for the New Year, because I’m aware that I’m going to hit a few of those bumps, hurdles, frustrations, people who don’t want to see me succeed, and last but not least, I’m going to experience my own self-sabotaging :). BUT in the end I will Give myself the Power to succeed, survive and become a better me in 2011!

So what are your goals for this year? Post your response below.

Don’t allow your dreams to go down the drain…they add to the joy of living!!!!

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, EZINE, OR WEB SITE? You can as long as you include the following:

ABOUT KAREN: Karen, is a Creative Career Expert and owner of Give Yourself Power. She has helped others find their true calling to work at what they love and love what they do. She love it when the light bulb goes off for a client when they realize that with hard work, belief, and the willingness to do their part they CAN do what they love and make an income from it!

If you’re serious about laying the foundation to starting your own businessgo to www.giveyourselfpower.com/contact.html to sign up for your free 15 minute intake.

Karen@giveyourselfpower.com – email
http://www.facebook.com/GiveYourselfPower
http://www.twitter.com/KarenMHeck
http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenheck