There is no way to predict what the market will do day-to-day. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we have to pivot it, adapt, and alter the way we do things if we want to keep up. Today’s post has Dr. Ali Griffith sharing insight with actionable advice you can apply to your own small business.
Utilize process mining strategies to bring your business up to date. Process mining might sound like a difficult concept, but it’s essentially just the act of using technology to see where you can improve your processes. Process mining begins with evaluating then mapping each process to read data points that allow you to cut man hours and improve collaboration. The time and money you save will help you boost your sales, identify risk points, and find new revenue streams. Start by knowing where your data will come from, who will use it, and when you expect to strategize changes to boost your business.
Look at your business structure. Like many small businesses, you may be currently operating as a sole proprietor. However, as you grow or intend to grow, you should reevaluate your business structure. File an LLC if you’re seeking tax advantages and a structure that most people will recognize and trust. Save the attorney fees and do it yourself online with a formation service that allows you to follow state guidelines.
Work closely with your vendors. Our vendors are an important catalyst in our quest for success. Hopefully, you have vendors that you already love and they treat you well. If you do not, now is the time to bring them to the negotiation table to come up with more favorable terms for yourself. Zycus recommends having a strong rapport, a good idea of their costs, and being prepared to buy more off the top for a volume discount.
Innovate with new products and services. Growth usually means expansion, and expansion means knowing what your customers want. Don’t be shy about asking for feedback. Open up a conversation, and ask specific questions. When you break it down into parts, you can dive deeper into what customers think about specific aspects of your business. You might, for example, ask customers if your color selection is wide enough and if there are complementary products they tend to purchase after they’ve visited your store.
Consider working remotely. Working remotely can save you money on fuel, lunch, coffee, and more. If you’re currently operating solely on a brick-and-mortar platform, Zippia asserts that you may be able to keep $4600 or more in your pocket each year by moving your office home.
Look for a less expensive lease. If you’re currently leasing your space and it’s time for renewal, consider negotiating with your landlord or looking for a less expensive location. This is especially effective if you do not need a visible storefront, such as if you deal primarily in manufacturing or run an office for service calls only. You can also negotiate with the new landlord, and VendHQ’s tips include signing a longer lease, getting an agent to negotiate on your behalf, and verifying square footage yourself.
We all have struggles to overcome. This doesn’t mean we have to accept challenges as insurmountable. With a bit of work, which includes researching your business structure, process mining your operations, and lowering your expenses, you can put yourself in a position to thrive no matter what the business world may throw at you.
If you’ve been with me for any amount of time, you know I am a firm believer in systems that bring automation to your business. Templated emails, repeatable worksheets for your product or service development and marketing, and so on. As your revenue increases, so do your growth opportunities. Hiring is one of them. Are you prepared for that leap?
Why Shouldn’t You Hire?
Hiring well is an art. Asking the right questions doesn’t always cut it. In the age of information, people with no intentions of being good employees are getting better at answering the questions the right way.
You have to find a system that illuminates their strengths, goals, common beliefs, and motivations in order to be a good boss to them and keep them shining in their role.
A misconception among leadership in the workforce is that good pay keeps employees. Why are you in business? Money takes time to acquire, but you’re willing to go the distance because you know the impact you’re going to make is of the greatest value to you. Money helps bring your dream to life.
Your new team members feel the same. They need fulfillment in their role. There are so many ways to make them feel like a valuable part of a worthy cause bigger than themselves in addition to fair pay.
As we’ve seen during the pandemic, some people were devastated to leave low-paying jobs that they absolutely loved while others couldn’t bring themselves to go back to 6-figure salaries because of toxic environments.
You should expect to invest some time in your team’s new additions, especially if you’re new to this type of leadership. Your employee or contractor will need to learn the ins and outs of your business. The more questions they have, the more potential value they can bring to your business.
Not having time to answer their questions and make sure you both are on the same page blurs communication which can cause frustration, tension, wasted time, and money further down the line. I trust you to accept wisdom and take the initiative to be a good leader. Further down, I’ll share some tips to improve this process.
I often hear intermediate business owners say they want to hire to free up their time. Time is the most valuable currency you can’t get back, so this is smart in theory. However, if these are your first hires, saving you time isn’t enough. I would dare to say it’s not wise to pay anyone on a consistent basis that isn’t bringing you a return on your investment. They’re a liability, not an asset to your business.
There are some roles that take some time to bring a return on investment. You should be aware and able to plan accordingly.
Money aside, there are pressing reasons to take a step out and grow your team such as burnout, inability to grow, and reduction in the quality of the experience you provide.
You built your business in alignment with your purpose; therefore your hires need to be in alignment with your purpose and your vision. They should have some sort of soul connection with your cause. This adds joy, purpose, and motivation that you can’t teach. If they’re on fire for your mission for their own reasons, they will do what it takes to deliver high-quality service.
How to hire.
Hiring wrong can damage your finances, emotional health, and reputation. Investing in help throughout your hiring process is literal self-care, I promise. There are a couple of things I would recommend to ease the process.
First, talk to your coach. I invite my tribe to talk through these types of decisions with me. This is a vital area to have a serious conversation. Receiving mentorship on this topic can be really beneficial in a group setting because you get to hear other experiences and feedback.
Another option is tohire an Online Business Manager aka an OBM. They can help you set up a team project management system like Honeybook or Slack in order to keep everyone’s expectations and responsibilities clear and organized. Additionally, they can help you develop hire and fire protocols to set you up for success, and be prepared to gracefully handle the worst. When looking for your OBM, be sure to not only ask the right questions but pay attention to the questions they ask you. Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow business owners if they know anyone.
Hiring isn’t for everyone. It should feel aligned. Who and how you hire is about your goals, beliefs, and divine timing. Click here to join me and my tribe as we continue to seek wisdom, abundance, and joy in our CEO lifestyle.
Whether you’ve been dreaming of owning a successful business after spending too long hustling and feeling like you’re getting nowhere or you’re exactly where you want to be and you’re wondering “now what?” keep reading because you’re about to get diamonds – not just nuggets, whole diamonds, sis!
Why is dreaming important?
Think about it. Everything that exists started with a dream. From technology to social justice to life itself, everything started with a vision. Nature, electricity, and black, women-owned businesses could not have been possible without dreamers and visionaries.
What kind of dreaming am I talking about here? I’m talking about those thoughts that get your heart racing. The distant things you know you want in life. The topics you’re passionate about.
For example, as a CEO mompreneur, I have no doubt that you’ve seen a version of your business that you want to see in reality. God may be sharing that vision with you as a roadmap to your fulfillment; it’s your purpose. You know that the dreams you have for your business have the potential to enrich so many lives while bringing you the income you need to live comfortably and continue growing your impact within your purpose.
Turning dreams into goals.
As a spiritual business coach for CEO mompreneurs like you, I meet so many women dreaming of having a successful business that’s not just flashy, but fulfilling. I can’t simply tell them what to do and send them on their way. After having the opportunity to work with influential souls like Lisa Nichols and Steve Harvey, the wheels started turning for me.
My vision was to provide that level of wisdom and education for special needs moms hustling like me. Our children always come first. Their medical needs might bring some challenging dynamics to the CEO hustle, but guess what? We adapt and overcome. I didn’t sit and feel sorry for myself as I encountered the unique challenges of special needs parenting, I built a community of women on the same hustle. Again, I know the journey isn’t always easy, yet together, we can do it with more ease.
This is why I go the distance with my students. We’re a tribe. We seek opportunities and overcome obstacles together. We celebrate the highs, support each other through the lows, and ultimately win together.
A key player to our collective success is the ability to turn our dreams into goals and provide accountability to make them happen.
Dreams are beautiful fantasies.
Goals have steps, guidelines, and a projected due date.
That’s why I’ve developed accountability systems like our Biz Vision Board Experience for my tribe to validate and pursue their goals on a consistent basis. In my group of Legacy Driven CEO Mompreneurs, I invite you to join us for pop-up co-creating sessions and empowering moments of wisdom and motivation to keep your fire burning! At every level, there is transformational power in this tribe.
The Warning Label That Comes With Dreams.
You and I are visionaries. The beautiful thing about us is that we don’t accept “that’s just the way it is” mentalities. We know we can do whatever we put our minds to. Just because others have chosen to settle for “the way it is” doesn’t mean you have to.
Dreaming is important but I want to caution you not to become so in love with dreaming visions of purpose that you let the necessary steps to bring them to reality drift away on a daily basis.
I understand it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. I know it can feel great to envision a building you want for your business, an event you want to host, or launching a new service that changes the tide for your clientele and your family. You know the impact it could have on your community. However, not all of the groundwork is going to sound fun.
If you have a vision of what your everyday life will look like in the midst of a season of grief or intense healing, you might be tempted to live in that fantasy world to escape some harsh realities instead of asking for and expecting the manifestation of that vision.
I encourage you to make a habit of calling yourself a visionary. Let your routine affirm your title as a visionary. Wake up in the morning and thank your higher power for the manifestation of your goals. Write affirmations to yourself as if you’re kicking butt and taking names, accomplishing your goals. You can write things like:
I am a successful business owner.
I am fulfilled
I am living comfortably and making a powerful impact
I am enough
I am a vessel of light and wisdom
Make your affirmations about anything you want. Speak love and light into the areas you desire to see growth. The more you speak life over yourself, you’ll find yourself to be more open and accepting of yourself. Affirmations help physically and spiritually manifest the goals you’re destined to achieve. Speaking affirmatively teaches your mind that you’re capable of achieving those things.
Organizing your personal and business goals can feel like a challenge at first. The Mompreneur Planner helps you turn your dreams into goals and stay on track even when the going gets rough.
We’re creatures designed for community. You’ve probably heard the saying that you’re the sum total of your 5 closest friends. Plugging into a like-minded group of business owners and visionaries building their legacies through fulfillment and goal setting helps provide a shared energy source. Teamwork makes the dream work and vice versa.
Remember, your dreams turned into goals aren’t just taking you to new levels. They’re helping you tap into your purpose. As a result, you’re strengthening your legacy and teaching those closest to you how powerful a dream can be. You’re becoming an inspiration and an example of movement. You’ve got this! Take up space and dream on, sis.
The flexibility of entrepreneurship is an undeniable perk of this lifestyle.
You have the freedom to be there for your kids, and feel like you’re making a difference doing what you love at the same time. You have the power to craft your lifestyle and live out your purpose on your terms. While it’s freeing, this lifestyle is not all “meetings by the pool”.
You have no idea how often I hear moms say “when I’m with my kids… I feel like I should be working. When I’m hustling… I feel like I should be with my kids”.
Do you feel guilty no matter what you’re doing?
This is a deadly cycle. Guilt is a powerful emotion. And it gets to a point where no matter what you’re doing… you can’t give it your full heart, soul, and attention. Trust me, I’ve been there. I get it. But I’ve also learned this:
You do not have to choose between your kids and success.
Create Healthy Boundaries With Family and Work
Step 1: Find a routine that works for you… and for your kids.
Parenthood is a balancing act. Determining a routine is paramount. This gets much easier when your kids start school, of course. But for toddler moms, the balancing act can feel like you’re walking on a tightrope. A solid weekday routine is a solution.
Many mompreneurs schedule their routines like this:
Work for an hour before their children wake up.
Work during the afternoon when their kids get screen time and a nap.
Work after the kids go to bed in the evenings.
This may not be the right answer for you. Maybe you can only find productivity in the mornings. In this case, maybe schedule some intentional playdates, camps, or mothers-day-out.
Step 2: Designate work time and mom time
After you’ve found your routine, establish “work time” and “mom time”. Stick to it. Establish boundaries for each. If you’re struggling with this, you can even use an app like stay focused to limit access to your Gmail and social media during “mom times”.
When you’re ready for some work time… we recommend investing seriously in this time. You can even designate a full week to it. Escape, recharge, and focus on boosting your business. Our yearly Biz Beach Retreat will help you do just that. We’ll help you automate your business, increase cash flow, and improve your quality of life. All while recharging on a tropical island (we are going to Bali this year!).
Step 3: Design a repeatable/ automatic process
Alright, I know we just threw a vocabulary term at you. But it’s pretty simple. A repeatable process is a set of actions that can be easily duplicated. It’s a productivity workflow. Here are the main takeaways:
Understand the main goals and objectives of your work
Document this process
Identify any factors that slow down this process
Focus on fixing these factors to close your productivity gaps
Apply this knowledge to any future processes.
This is a big concept in high-level project management positions. Apply it to your business, of course. But why not apply it to your family life too?
Step 4: Invest in resources to help you
Buy that accounting software so you don’t have to spend hours with a spreadsheet. Invest in that CRM to speed up your marketing.
It’s just as important to invest in resources to support YOU! Invest your time in a like-minded community that can help you sort through the chaos, and boost your morale when you have an off week.
Figuring this out won’t be easy. It can be emotional.
A client recently shared a struggle with me.
She had taken her daughter to the playground. She played with her for a while, monkeying around on the jungle gym before her daughter found a group of kids to play with. So she sat down on a shady bench and decided to take the opportunity to check her email. She was surprised to see her inbox held 3 new client inquiries! She excitedly began to read the messages when her daughter ran up to her and said “Mommy! I want to play with you again.” How could she resist that adorable face?
We’d been working togather for a few months, so she knew the value of distinguishing family time and work time. So she put her phone down and joined her daughter on the playground.
She was filled with anxious excitement about having scored 3 new clients. But she pushed those feelings aside until her daughter’s scheduled hour of Paw Patrol later that afternoon.
Usually, her daughter could independently enjoy her screen time. But for some reason, today was different. As she headed off into her office, her daughter asked,
“Mommy, where are you going? I want you to watch Paw Patrol with me!” She paused the show. She sat down and patiently explained to her 3-year-old that she needed to work.
“Why?” she asked in that toddler way.
“Because Mommy needs to work to pay for this nice place to live and for the delicious food we eat”
“But I don’t like it when you work”
“I know honey, but I work hard because I love you. And after your show is over we can play togather again”
This was a tough moment for my client. But I was so proud of her. I could certainly empathize with how hard it was to walk away from her daughter at that moment. But she successfully established boundaries. It was the only way she could be fully present during their playtime. It also turned into a teachable moment for her daughter! And she was able to show her toddler the results of hard work.
My client was successful at this moment, but it was still pretty emotional. I was glad she had a supportive community to turn to.
Let’s talk about your mindset – Helping you to understand that… I’ve been having conversations with other academy folks and others that are professionals in the area who are probably at say 0-5 years, maybe 1-5 years away from retirement, they’re near that stage. What I was explaining to them is the mindset of how we were taught to go to school, get our education, and to go work for people. Using all of our intellectual property to hit 5k! We have to refrain from what it was that we were taught and the environment that we were given where when we show up or when we do things for other companies or other places that are not our own… we’re able to create that 5k days, we just don’t see it. We don’t see how many hundreds and thousands and millions of dollars that they bring in based on our own work. So when we hear 5ks we’re like “Oh my God, that’s a lot, it feels overwhelming, it feels like I got to do a lot”. Not realising that the places we’ve been working for or the companies we’ve given our time to, or organisations that we’ve done, they’ve been bringing in that amplitude of ridiculous amounts.
I want you first to understand that you, as your own brand – you’re creating, developing, and growing your own company. You need to wake up with that number everyday because that helps you get activated, get you moving, that makes you feel like 5k. In my tribe, some of their mindsets are 5k for the month, 5k a day, 5k weekly, or 5k for a quarter. What’s important is you get to decide. Not me, not your husband, or your mama, but YOU.
The goal of major companies, rather successful companies, is that they know what their numbers are. They know their KPIs, they know the things they have to do to get there, and we were trained to know how to get into jobs and make sure we do their work. When I was young and I started working at McDonalds, I knew if I wanted to get my paycheck at the end of the week, I had to go in. I had to make sure I understood the menu, I had to make sure I’m engaging well with the people, I had to make sure that I’m showing up on time. All of the routines and rituals that I learn in their brand, I had to make sure that I did that too.
So why shouldn’t we have that same acumen with our own brand? What are we creating for ourselves?
It’s because of how we were taught, how we were structured coming up. Our parents who didn’t know better before told us to go in, do well, get that degree, move towards where you need to work, and then go work for others! And it’s not a bad thing, it’s just that they didn’t know better, we didn’t know better. So we’re out here putting all of our time and energy to create the flow of money for all these other people. Meanwhile, our intellectual property works between our years of experience. So the things and time we put into things wherein we’re gaining knowledge is for us now to go out there and do it for ourselves.
I’m being super intentional about sales because “Sales” is a dignified conversation. So if you’ve been running away from sales, or if it is just something that makes you feel icky – it’s okay because I’ve been there. And there’s no judgement, this is just owning. If you have an unhealthy relationship with money and sales, then we’re going to start working on that this month. Why? Because I want to see your business on and popping like the people and the companies we’ve worked for before. I want to know that I’m coming in celebrating your opening, I want to celebrate your million-dollar mark. I want to celebrate you activating your intellectual property, activating your experience, your genius so you can have your 5k-day slays or 5k minute slays (like you know hour slays). All the things that we have, the capacity to do. I want to celebrate you doing it.
These are also one of the reasons why I’m going to be focusing on teaching my tribe how to do smaller events. Helping them understand the event system for their business: how everything doesn’t have to be super big. Like, you need this big conference but you don’t need to have millions of people on your list. And also, you do need to know how to activate, the strategy, and the systems. I will help you to know how to make it easy for yourself.
Join me and my tribe as we want to do it with more feminine attraction, we want to do it in our space of abundance, our happy space — Click the link here to join.