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Posts tagged ‘Camryn Oliver Lemmon’

Make Sure Your Business is built on a Strong Foundation

Is a business plan important for your business?

… Is a concrete slab or crawlspace foundation important before constructing a home?

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Make Sure Your Business is built on a Strong Foundation

You have a great business idea. It only takes a table chair, a basic computer and a telephone to start. No sweat! Off you go, right? … You’ve had a home-based business for a year as a coach. That requires very little to start off. However, you start accepting invitations to speak to groups and you’re getting paid. You’ve also written a book or two relating to your coaching and orders are coming in. YOU NEED HELP!  Suddenly, you’re doing more administrative duties than you’re spending time coaching; yet, more clients are calling due to referrals.

Do you have what it takes to accommodate the demands of your growing business? Ask yourself some important questions:

  • Is your business planted on a solid foundation?
  • Are you prepared for a growth spurt when orders start coming in faster than you can keep up?
  • What about when the economy has a downturn and your business experiences a slowdown in sales to the point of you having to begin laying off staff?
  • Do you have the proper legal structure for your business… what about an attorney and CPA who works with you?
  • What if you want to grow into a larger office space, or just get out of your home office?
  • Do you have the funds or paperwork to back up getting a loan?
  • If you can’t answer the above questions with conviction and clarity and that all of the above are in order, then we need to talk!

Business planning sometimes gets overlooked or confused as a part of the promotional mix and considered a part of the marketing piece of the big picture. The business plan is not the marketing plan and if you have a marketing plan, a media calendar, or any other kind of plan relative to your business, but doesn’t involve projections, financials, market competition analysis, or an executive summary, you haven’t done a business plan.

When you don’t have your bases covered before going into business for yourself; how will it affect your family? What will happen if you need to spend money to hire help or rent space to store the items you now sell? Do you have 6 to 9 months’ worth of savings? Do you have an emergency fund put aside for things needed as your business grows? What about if you or your spouse become disabled to the point you can’t work for 6 months? Finally, what may seem an unimportant issue may in fact be one of the most important questions: How does your family feel about you going into your own business – quitting the corporate world?

Too many people start their businesses without thinking about any of these issues. If they have a computer, a dining table, and phone, business is ready to open. Erase that thought.

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First, do your research.

  • Talk to your family. How will it affect everyone?
  • If your partner doesn’t work outside the home, do you need for him or her to get a job to supplement your new business income? It will be slow coming the first few months as people pay their bills in different ways; some the day the bill comes in, some 3 months later. If you have small children, how will it affect your children and your ability to work if they are small and need a lot of attention?
  • Discuss your plans with a business attorney; what kind of structure will your business be set up?
  • Retain a CPA specializing in small businesses and tax law. A great thing to have is a Neat® receipt scanner.
  • Look at other similar businesses – how do they market themselves?
  • Have you made a list of all expenses? Do you know what they might be?
  • What about professional trade associations you might need to join?
  • Is there a certification or special state license you need to have?
  • If you are a coach, don’t assume you shouldn’t have a business license in the city where you live.
  • Are you a motivated, self-starter, with resilience and tenacity, organized enough to keep work flow in order and the stomach to handle months when times are lean?
  • Can you make a contract with yourself that you will not stay in your sweats or PJ’s all day, day in and day out, even if you don’t have to meet clients? (It’s a comfortable way to work, but can be addictive at times. You don’t want to stop going out to meet and greet people each day; after all, it is your business, not a hobby!

These are all important questions that need answers. I understand that some people who start their business from home may not agree with many of the things I’ve written here. But, believe me, if you take the extra time before you begin a business by doing the above, or as many things that apply to you, you will have a greater chance of having a successful and less stressful business start.

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

                                                                                           Douglas H. Everett

 

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Are you Awake, Alive, and Excited?

Here we go! 2014 has started and we have a clean slate! Already, I’ve received a ton of New Year’s offers, tips, webinar invites, etc. on how-to, and pros and cons on, whether or not New Year resolutions will be met. One writer surprised me by an article stating new years’ resolutions were a waste of time and doomed to fail! I don’t believe that, but some people do. Perception is a personal thing that no one can change but that person.

Did I just hear someone reading this, ask, “Have you made your resolutions, Cam?”  No, I haven’t.  I’ve made New Year INTENTIONS. I’ve made KICK-BUTT GOALS. I create (don’t laugh) dream boards. But, the difference from other people who make resolutions such as: ‘I’m going to go to the gym every day,” ‘I’m going to triple my income in 3 months…,’ or, ‘I’m going to be on time for all meetings and get to work on time,’ and more resolutions similar to those, is this – I make intentions. And, as we all probably do, we write them down. I go a step further. 

When you make an intention, you are promising yourself, giving your word, and that makes it more personal and powerful. As many people do in business, I also enjoy mind-mapping. This started for me back in the 1980’s when a day planner came on the market called the Personal Resource System (“PRS”). Mind-mapping was one of the things taught with using the day planner and I found it to be invaluable in all areas of my life, while I knew the idea had been around for a number of years prior. Soon came Stephen Covey’s extraordinary book entitled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

The other action I take is to set each intention up as if it were a project for a client. If its health related, it’s planned out as a project, with objectives to be reached and deadlines set. Each day or week, depending on the intention, there is an action to be taken. Since I treat these like I would any other activity for a client, I’m more committed with ‘intent’ on completing the task.

Setting goals is a little different than making a resolution. Resolutions are something that many of us take seriously and set yearly. We resolve to change something, usually a habit. But, for many, they know the realization that resolutions are made in fun, half-heartedly, and people who make them don’t seriously expect them to last. When you don’t expect something to be fulfilled, you are basically setting yourself up for failure. Believe me, I’m one who knows.

For years I was my own self-saboteur. Next were members of my family. If my husband or anyone doubted I could accomplish a goal, I soaked in their opinions. Thoughts became my thoughs. Then, ka-boom! Whatever the goal, it didn’t succeed only because I didn’t believe in myself any more. That was when I was in my 20s and early 30s. Today, what anyone says that is negative – their thoughts just bounces off me like a boomerang! Unless it comes in the form of a friend or peer, and is respectfully given as constructive criticism or suggestion, I will not take it seriously. But, only I can make my goals succeed or fail.

Those years ago when I didn’t have a lot of confidence, unlike today, it would always amaze me when I had success at a major goal that I set. Soon, I learned that success does come to those who work hard, make a plan, and work their plan. Once people see that you do good work, your word holds true, then you see more success. Never let other people hold you back or make you doubt yourself.

So the Cam Lemmon of today is not shy or lacking confidence. This Cam – me — of today is confident, wise, and I know that my present and past work and many clients’ letters of recommendation speak for themselves. I’m confident in reaching my goals and aspirations. Scratch that!  I’m confident I will see every intention I set come to fruition. 

Have a wonderful year, reach your goals, resolutions, or INTENTIONS, and shoot for the moon! If you don’t reach it, you may find a star! Allow yourself some room to adjust should surrounding circumstances change for which you have no control. Have a great year, and call me the “2014 Cam” – watching for the greatest achievements we all can make this New Year! Let me know how you do with your new year’s plans.

In fact, I’d like for each person to respond who wants to register their “resolutions” on this site, and at the end of the year, let’s have an award for the person or business who reaches many, if not all, goals. The one who reaches the most will be honored at an event I will be hosting at the end of the year at a sunny Florida location!

©All Rights Reserved. January 2, 2014.