Tools and Resources to Grow Your Empire!

Posts by Lisa Virkus

Is Your Business Running You?

By on Aug 8, 2014 in From Find the Capital, Running Your Business | 0 comments

Do you remember how good it felt to start your own business? You manage your own time, you are the boss, and you only answer to yourself, right? Have your dreams of playing golf at the 3 o’clock in the afternoon disappeared under the pressure of answering client calls, emails, business meetings, and actually doing your work? If you have been transformed from the master of your destiny to a slave of the trade, then something is very wrong. Your existing business processes are shackling you rather than serving you. It’s time to stop, analyze, and intelligently systemize your business. Make The Time You can scream, shout, and kick that you don’t have time to do this, but in the end, you are only hurting yourself. First, lack of enjoyment in your work is a fast track to stress. Secondly, is this why you started your own business, so you can slave drive yourself? No, this isn’t how it was supposed to be and it can change. You owe it to yourself. Besides, it’s easier than you think. Step 1: Document Your Processes While this step isn’t necessarily difficult, it can be time consuming. There is no way around it; you have to know what you are doing so you can a) improve what you are doing and b) teach someone else to do it. There are a lot of fancy process mapping techniques and software programs. A Google search will put dozens of them at your fingertips. You can use any one of these that feel comfortable to you, or you can keep it simple and document your processes in numbered steps or hand drawn flowcharts. To save time, you could ask one of your employees to document your processes, or hire a college student or temporary personnel to help you. Step 2: Improve Your Processes Once you have documented all your processes, study them carefully. Look for those following issues that can flag areas that need improvement: Is there duplication of efforts? Are there bottlenecks? Are there delays? Is there only one person who knows how to complete a certain process? Is it a purely manual process? Is there a customer-impacting issue? If there are issues with...

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Have you met your goals for the first half of the year?

By on Jul 11, 2014 in From Find the Capital, Running Your Business | 0 comments

It’s hard to believe that we are halfway into the year. Where did the first half go? Now is the perfect time to take an honest look at your business, see how much progress you’ve made, and develop your plan for the rest of 2014. I typically review my annual goals each quarter with a particular focus at the mid-year point. Generally, I do this right after the July 4th holiday weekend.  I find this a good time of year for reviewing my annual goals and measuring my current performance. Look at your goals and ask yourself, have I achieved them? Are they still viable and important? If not, get rid of them. If they are still viable, identify a handful of actions to execute over the summer months to bring you closer to your goals. Also, reflect to see if your goals have changed and to see if new goals are needed. The only one that can make you accountable is yourself. You need to measure how you want to achieve the success you want in your life. Think about this question: what must I accomplish in the next 6 months to make 2014 a great year? Use this question as a guide in documenting your goals for the next 6 months and detailing your plans for how you will achieve them. Remember, you still have half the year left. So even if you didn’t achieve enough in the first six months, there’s plenty of time left to make 2014 a banner year. But importantly, make sure you set goals for the rest of the year, and have a way to measure your progress on them. If you don’t, as some of you unfortunately just learned over the last six months, you won’t achieve the success you desire. Best of luck to you! Get your FREE Sales and Marketing Audit...

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Help on getting rid of those Monday Blues

By on Jun 23, 2014 in From Find the Capital, Running Your Business | 0 comments

I was talking to one of my clients on a Monday morning at our weekly scheduled time and being that it was Monday we usually discuss how our weekends went. We have been working together for quite some time now and have an excellent business relationship. We both agreed that if your Monday doesn’t go well, the rest of the week is shot and usually isn’t productive. I asked him what do you do to start Monday with a positive attitude so your workweek is positive and productive. He said if I figured it out to let him know! After we finished our call, it got me thinking. How do you have a happy Monday instead of a blue Monday? On this particular Monday I was feeling very excited and positive about the week and why was that? Start your week with a plan. A plan that starts on the Friday before. Determine what you need to do and make a list. Time block for each activity for the entire week so nothing falls through the cracks. This way, all you have to do each day is to react every day to your task list. Schedule a call every Monday with a business partner or associate that always produces a positive outcome. I started my day talking to a business associate that I really enjoy talking to. He’s so smart and he has a wicked sense of humor. We have had great momentum with his business; which makes me happy because that means I am doing my job well. We brainstorm well together and have fun doing it. I always feel productive and inspired after our calls and it is a great start to the week. I had a lunch scheduled with a business associate that day that always produces positive results so we started meeting every Monday. I always leave those lunches with m adrenaline flowing with great ideas. We always meet at a fun restaurant with great food and we talk about how we can help each other with our businesses. The result of those lunches has turned into a great partnership. Maybe you have lunch with a friend or business associate usually on a Friday? Why...

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Are you willing to accept you’ve made a mistake?

By on May 29, 2014 in From Find the Capital, Running Your Business | 0 comments

I like to tell people I’ve made so many mistakes as an entrepreneur that I can’t help but succeed from this point on. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. No matter how many mistakes one makes as an entrepreneur, there are more ways to fail than can fit into a lifetime. While failure may be overrated, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from it when it happens. Wouldn’t it be better if you could learn from the mistakes someone else has made, rather than having to make them yourself. Here are some mistakes I have made and have watched other people close to me make; I hope you learn from these mistakes rather than repeating them. Here are five of the larger ones: Ignoring wise advice I’ve had some great mentors over the years. The best one was and still is my husband. It’s a pity that when I most needed to heed his advice, I ignored it. I know it pained him to see me make mistakes he had told me how to avoid but I was stubborn and thought I knew better. If you don’t have a mentor who tells you when you’re wrong — get one, and listen to him or her. Lying to yourself Have you brought on the wrong partner or started a business that you begin to realize has no chance of success? I have watched people bring on business partners that are clearly not the right ones. Make sure you take your time to vet out your partner in business just like you do before deciding to get married. Don’t keep lying to yourself and hope your partner will change; realize you have made a mistake and move on. Not learning to do things on your own Never phone it in. Nobody is going to do it for you. Don’t bury your head in the sand and expect someone else to do your work because you don’t know how to do it and they can do it with their eyes closed. Rather than relying on your partner to make necessary changes to a spreadsheet or changes to your website because it’s so easy for them to do it learn how to do it yourself. I’m...

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Do you have a Failure to Launch?

By on May 21, 2014 in From Find the Capital, Running Your Business, Sales and Marketing | 0 comments

Don’t let a fear of failure stop you from doing anything whether it’s starting a small business, rolling out a new marketing campaign that will grow your business or ending a bad personal or business relationship. When I get the chance to ask what’s holding you back from what you want to do? People often they respond that they’re afraid of failing – they don’t actually say it in so many words in so many words, but that’s what it boils down to: They say things such as “I’d like to start a small business but I’m not very good at selling” or  “I’d like to launch a new website and marketing campaign but it’s not perfect yet. ”Or even, “I’m not happy in my relationship but I’m afraid of being alone.” Get it? The obstacle to starting a small business, launching a new marketing campaign or ending a relationship is not actually about selling or making more money or being alone – it’s fear. Not the fear that saves you from physical harm, such as the fear you feel when you see a huge slavering dog standing in your path or the fear that prevents most of us from shooting over Niagara Falls in a barrel, is a healthy thing. But the kind of fear that prevents you from doing things that you want to do that will enrich you is not a healthy fear. If fear of failure is what is preventing you from starting a small business, or launching a new marketing campaign that will bring you more business, you have to get around it and forge ahead. How can you break your paralysis by analysis? You have to do two things: Prepare to succeed Change your attitude to failure 1) Prepare to Succeed The first thing you need to do to prepare to succeed is to learn how to do it. You already know how to fail. You can fail by doing nothing or you can fail by doing stupid things. But how do you succeed? By finding out exactly what you would need to be successful and ensuring that those needs are met. For instance, suppose that I want to start a small business...

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