7 Tips to Consistently Grow Your Small Business

7 Tips to Consistently Grow Your Small Business

By | Empowered Women, Successful Women, Woman's Finance, Women In Business | No Comments

While we would all love a get rich quick scheme that actually worked, the truth is that for entrepreneurs, consistency is key.

Showing up, doing the work, and doing it well is the only way to grow sustainably and ensure that you can continue to be your own boss long term.

However, for many women entrepreneurs, it’s not that simple, is it? You have lots of other commitments, possibly including children and a spouse, you have financial obligations and contracts to fulfill each month, and you have meetings and requirements for your time that all pull away from your ability to focus on growth and strategy.

These are 7 ways to grow your business with persistence without sucking up all of your time, money, and energy.

  1. Schedule time for the big picture regularly. Pick a time on your calendar weekly where you can sit down, undisturbed by distractions, and think about where you’re going and what actions you need to take to get there.
  2. Know your finances. By getting a firm grip on your expenses, profit margins, and cash flow, you’ll know where you should focus your time, energy, and investments.
  3. Set macro goals and micro plans. Many entrepreneurs feel bogged down by marketing plans. They tend to be big and unwieldy and change-resistant. Instead, try making small action plans for today or this week that work toward the larger goals you set during your big picture planning time that we talked about in Tip 1.
  4. Enable your team to help you grow. If you have contractors or employees, think of them as assets to help you either multiply your growth or stunt your growth. The choice is yours. Communicate to team members that you want them to help you spot areas where you can improve or grow, and then give them incentives to help you reach your goals.
  5. Encourage repeat customers. It’s common knowledge that people who have bought from you in the past are much more likely to buy again from you in the future. And yet, many of my clients aren’t focused on nurturing those relationships because they are already thinking about getting the next customer or client. Have a protocol to offer them VIP packages or one-on-one services regularly because engaging them is key to your sustainable growth.
  6. Keep learning. Successful business owners take time regularly for filling in their knowledge gaps and continuing to get smarter about running their companies. Whether it’s taking an online course, working with a coach, or attending a conference, keep investing in yourself.
  7. Change directions consistently. While showing up and doing the work everyday is the most important thing, if you don’t have the right strategy, you might as well be hitting your head against the wall over and over again. During your regularly scheduled planning time, take a look at where you might need to change course. This does not mean reinventing your whole business model. Simply pinpoint what’s not enabling growth and fix it. Then fix it again if you need to until it works.

By implementing these simple tips, you’re going to feel a shift in both your stress level and the level of growth you have the ability to achieve.

For more on financial freedom, make sure you follow me on Facebook.

To your life without limits,

Elena

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5 Ways to Feel in Control During Tax Season

By | Empowered Women, Successful Women, Woman's Finance | No Comments

For many entrepreneurs, taxes are scary. You don’t want to be audited, it’s tough to get answers to your questions, you’re afraid of how much you’re going to owe, and the bottom line is… this stuff is not why you started your business in the first place.

However, if you want to keep your business and keep making money, it’s absolutely essential you get smart about taxes. By taking a few simple steps, you can feel knowledgeable and in control when tax time rolls around.

  1. Know the tax structure for your type of small business. Most small businesses fall into one of the following categories, each of which has its own tax forms and considerations. These link to the IRS forms for each:
  1. Make Bookkeeping a Priority Throughout the Year. Just by keeping regular track of income and expenses, you take half the stress and headache out of taxes. Use online bookkeeping software to make it easy on yourself like Freshbooks or QuickBooks. If you keep books on your computer, make sure you back up regularly.
  1. Be prepared with quarterly estimated tax payments. Sole proprietors, partnerships, S corporation shareholders, and self-employed individuals, are required to make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes when you file your return. After estimating the amount you will owe for the year, and dividing that into four separate payments, you file electronically in April, June, September and January, in addition to your annual filing the following April.
  1. Get employees and contractors ready. First you’ll need to know whether you have employees or contractors. If you have any of either, you must have an Employer Identification Number, and your contractor must have completed and filed a Form W-9. Set those up at the start of a contract relationship when you have them sign your agreement, so that it’s in place before the end of the tax year. Then, you’ll need to file a Form 1099-MISC (in most cases) for contractors.

Read more about taxes when it comes to employees.

  1. Keep track of business expenses. By simply keeping records and receipts for the cost of goods sold, your capital expenses and your personal expenses for business purposes, you’ll be ready to zoom through everyone’s favorite part of filing taxes – your deductions! Try one of the handy apps out there for keeping receipts like Shoeboxed. Remember to keep those files for at least three years in case of an audit.

Taking these five steps, you’re taking nearly all the stress out of taxes. You’ll feel prepared and know what you’re getting yourself into before tax season arrives.

If you’re still stressed by accounting, record keeping, or taxes, you can always contact me. I’m here to help you achieve financial success!

To your life without limits,

Elena

3 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances In the New Year

3 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances in the New Year

By | Woman's Finance | No Comments

Why do you struggle with money year after year?

It is because you do not have a clear goal or intention for your money, so it is spent on anything that comes up or that “shiny object” that you want in the moment.

Do you find yourself living from one paycheck to the other or running out of money at the end of the month?

Or maybe you say no to a trip that you really want to go on because you feel that you cannot afford it.

2015 is your year to take control of your money and start making money work for you…Imagine the end of the month comes and you have plenty of money in your bank accounts. Imagine the next time your friend calls and says lets take a trip, you say yes because you know you have money to pay for it.

This is such an amazing feeling that I want you to have!

Here are a few small, simple steps that will get you to that exact place.

  1. Set financial goals, if you do not have a goal for your money you will spend it on things that you do not need.  You must have a clear intention on exactly what you need out of your money every year.  For instance, your goal can be to pay off debt, buy your first home, go on a family vacation, save for a business, etc. Once you have an intention and a goal for your money you will be less likely to spend money on things that do not align with that intention.
  2. Pay yourself first!! I am sure that you have heard this many times, but many people that I coach and work with do not do this.  I love doing this is by putting 20% (or more if I do not need it at that time) of everything that I make into an account that is not attached to my debit card. This money is only used to invest in myself or my future. Investing in yourself can include things like starting a business, purchasing an investment or a home (if it makes financial sense).  It does not include clothing, food, a new car or a bills.  I promise after a couple months of this you will not notice the money you put away and you will be so surprised by how your money grows.
  3. Always have an emergency fund. This is not the same as paying yourself first. This is an account that you can use if you have an emergency, like an unexpected car repair, flat tire, unexpected bill, etc. My emergency fund is just my savings account that is attached to my checking account I keep $2000 in there and it just sits there.  Having this account allows you to always feel that you can take care of something if you need to. If an emergency happens, make sure that you put the money back as soon as you can. Keep an amount that makes you feel comfortable. This will allow you to get out of the mindset that you do not have enough money! When you feel like you have enough, it is an amazing feeling!

These three simple tips will absolutely change your relationship with money.

Start now…write down exactly what you want with you money this year.

Next week I will explain more about how to make this work so you get your results 90% of the time.

Make it an amazing week, and please leave me a comment below.

Much Success & Freedom,

Elena J. Forbes

 

 

Breathe, Reconnect, Think... Then Respond

Breathe, Reconnect, Think… Then Respond

By | Personal Growth | No Comments

Breathe, Reconnect, Think... Then RespondThink before you speak. Think before you act. It’s one of those sayings dealt out to children from the parenting deck of cards. It’s a saying that isn’t usually adopted by anyone and instead reserved for awkward moments of embarrassment or frustration. While it’s 100% good advice it’s actually very very hard to do, especially in a world that is moving faster and faster every.single.day.

It seems as though thinking has given way to reacting.

We react in anger every time someone cuts us off in traffic by yelling out.

We react in frustration every time a line is too long and the person at the front is going too slow. 

We react in defense every time our methods or beliefs or lifestyle is questioned. 

We are a society that does a whole lot of reacting and not a ton of thinking or breathing. And where does this get us? No where. In fact, it puts up walls around our hearts and minds, it fills our spirits with pain and despair, and clouds our vision so we can’t see or connect with anyone or anything around us.

Even though it seems hard to stop from reacting – even though reacting seems immediate and unstoppable – I do believe the old adage is right, it is important to think before you act.

It’s just missing two fundamental steps that need to come first, that can help you pause and take value of yourself, your situation and the world around you: breathing and reconnecting… One deep breath creates space and opportunity, clears your vision, illuminates the entire situation. One moment of reconnection with your heart/mind/soul can help you remember and realign with your true values and purpose.

One deep breath brings light into the darkness, one moment of reconnection brings truth into your being, and one chance to think, to truly think, can help you respond with mindfulness.

For instance, what if we prayed for safe travel for those rushing from one place to the next?

What if we relied on patience and compassion when the line seems to go on forever?

What if we embraced acceptance and understanding when met with new ideas, beliefs and lifestyles?

What if we began breathing, reconnecting, and thinking before doing anything else?

Rather than getting angry/frustrated/defensive every time something goes a little off-course, what if we took a deep breath, reconnected with our heart, and thought about the situation as a whole? What if we realized that not everyone is out to get us, that not everything and everyone is against us, that not every slight is meant to hurt us? What if we realized that we don’t need to rush our response, that there is time for honesty, compassion and mindfulness?

I believe if we began moving a little slower, giving ourselves the time and opportunity to breathe/reconnect/and think we would create ripples of peace and compassion that would change our mindset, our relationships, our day to day lives, and the world as a whole.

Breathe, reconnect, think… then respond.


undefinedErin is known for her radiant energy, bright smile and willingness to get real.

As a Writer, Life Coach and Reiki Guide Erin is dedicated to supporting people in their journey to find clarity, direction and happiness. After moving past her own barriers to happiness she knew that she could help others though the same mindful yet bold approach she used to create a joyful, engaging life. 

She believes in the importance of community, connection, compassion, and a good cup of coffee. 

Connect with her at Creative Soul in MotionErinMadore.com, through Twitter, and Facebook.

Transitioning with Openness & Honesty

Transitioning & Embracing Change With Openness & Honesty

By | Empowered Women | No Comments

Transitioning with Openness & HonestyMid-May. A time for HUGE transitions ::: college students moving home, students graduating and moving into jobs, people getting married, couples buying their first homes together, the list goes on. Spring is quite simply the perfect time of year for change. In fact, it’s when nature itself is awakening and blooming; almost urging you along with every spring rain and budding flower.

And while change is inevitable and is always happening – moments like this can feel overwhelming, terrifying, and down right hard.

Hard because with a new situation comes new fears, new challenges, new expectations, hopes, plans and dreams. Hard because you’re familiar and comfortable with the old way, the old place, the old situation. Hard because change forces us to grow, to stretch ourselves a little farther, to think differently, to see things in a new light, sometimes it even requires a leap of faith with no net to catch you.

Growth comes with growing pains.

But during those moments of fear and struggle you have the chance, the ability, to surrender to change. To let go of the past, of expectations, of limiting beliefs. To open your heart, mind and body to this new adventure.To learn something new, to go somewhere different, to let your true self shine a bit brighter.

It’s in your power to embrace the process and the possibilities that come with change.

When you do open up to the transition – to embrace change – wondrous things can happen. Suddenly things can just fall into place. Opportunities can arise that you never expected. Connections can be made that lead to new and exciting relationships.

Embracing change requires an open heart to trust, an open mind to believe, an open soul to surrender.

Fighting change. Holding onto the old ways. Terrified of moving forward. All of this resistance eats up your energy and sends out a message to the world that you’re not willing to accept what it is offering you. Living stuck in place is like having your eyes closed, your hands in fists, and feet cemented into the ground – you’re inable to see clearly, to accept anything and you can’t move.

So what’s the first step to Embracing change?

Being honest about how you’re feeling, with yourself and others. Telling people that you’re scared/excited/nervous about this next step.

By admitting how you are truly feeling you can own and accept the situation, the transition, the change.

By sharing that experience with others you can find freedom from your restraints, clarity in your direction, and confidence in your actions.

Being honest takes a lot of courage and strength, but the more you open up the easier it becomes. It’s easy to feel like you have to fight the world alone but friends and family members are in your life to support and love you.

Faced with change? Be honest by opening up to yourself and others, and you may just find that everything will fall into place and you”ll be embracing  change! 


undefinedErin is known for her radiant energy, bright smile and willingness to get real.

As a writer, life coach and Reiki Guide Erin is dedicated to supporting people in their journey to find clarity, direction and happiness. After moving past her own barriers to happiness she knew that she could help others though the same mindful yet bold approach she used to create a joyful, engaging life. 

She believes in the importance of community, connection, compassion, and a good cup of coffee. 

Connect with her at Creative Soul in MotionErinMadore.com, through Twitter, and Facebook.