Entrepreneurial Mindset: Consultant’s Friend or Foe?

failureSometimes, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, it just doesn’t work, or work to the level it needs to in order to help turn around a failing business. Not all consulting opportunities leave us smiling even though we gave it our all… and then some.

It’s sad, but we must learn from the experience to be better, even just a little bit better for the next time, for the next person, the next client, the next entrepreneur.

Certainly, we must be better for the next opportunity if we are to make a difference. In the end, we must not second guess. Instead, reflect upon the experience and move forward. It does leave me with a question, Does having an entrepreneur’s mindset help or actually hinder being an effective consultant?

#reflection #entrepreneurship

Organizational Skills All Small Business Owners Should Possess

Organizational skillsWho hasn’t seen the phrase “organizational skills” listed as a requirement of a position? It might seem excessive that this vague term is so in demand, but the possession of organizational skills can make or break your career success.

While this is true for any role, it is even more integral for a small business owner.* Because there are so many tasks to juggle on any given day, keeping everything organized is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your working hours.

Read on for a look at the essential organizational skills to propel your small business toward success:

Scheduling. More than just scheduling shifts and meetings, as a small business owner you’ll be expected to schedule every aspect that goes into running your business. From scheduling progress check-ins for projects to scheduling incentive programs for sales goals, the ability to create a schedule and stick to it is essential to running your business.

Delegation. It’s impossible for one person to handle everything that needs to happen to keep a business running smoothly—that’s why delegation is key. By delegating, you’re lightening the load on your own shoulders while empowering your team to tackle the difficult tasks.

Time Management. In many jobs, your time is managed for you. You’re provided with small goals on the way to larger accomplishments and project timelines are completed at your own manager’s discretion. However, as a small business owner, those project timelines and daily tasks are set by you.

People Management. Managing is commonly regarded as a “people skill,” but it takes organizational savvy as well. Planning evaluations, building a successful team and orchestrating group meetings may not be the leadership tasks that get all the attention, but they’re just as integral to being a respected and regarded manager.

Preparation. Being prepared is the key to staying on top of your business routine. Whether it’s taking notes before a meeting with your staff, franchisor, or banker or jotting down the next to-do list at the end of the day, starting off on the right foot will keep you from playing catch-up when you should be looking ahead.

*Note: Small business owners include small independent business operators (Mom & Pop), franchisees, restaurant operators, professional services providers (law offices, medical offices) and even solopreneurs with staff.

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Crush It!

I’ve recently re-read for the umpteenth time a fascinating book, Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. He has posted, tweeted, and videoed himself, and his business, to unbelievable success in a very short period of time. The book is a relatively short read, so there should be no excuses for not reading it asap, as it can only help you improve yourself and your business. The following is directly from one of the tabs from the book’s original website. Upon reading the book, I’m sure you’ll further explore Crush It!

Crush It!
By Gary Vaynerchuk

Everything has changed. The social media revolution has irreversibly changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. There are billions of dollars in advertising moving online, waiting to be claimed by whoever can build the best content and communities. Despite this change, most people keep working at jobs that don’t make them happy and businesses continue to ignore the major marketing and public relations benefits that can be found online.

crush_it

Myth #1

I’m not passionate about something sexy or popular like wine so these lessons don’t apply to me.

The internet has drastically decreased the costs of building communities around niche subjects, allowing for even the most obscure subjects to draw enough eyeballs to command advertising attention. Starting a video blog about tortilla chips may seem farfetched until Doritos gives you a call and offers $40,000 a year to sponsor and advertise on your blog.

Myth #2

My business already has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, we’re set in the social media department.

This is the equivalent of claiming twenty years ago that just because your business bought a TV spot and a few ads in the newspaper, you didn’t need to pay attention to your advertising department. Social media isn’t about joining in, it’s about being involved.

Myth #3

I’m happy at my job so this book is irrelevant to me.

First of all, congratulations on finding work that makes you happy! However, the lessons in this book are valuable to anyone, regardless of their employment status. Crush It will show you how to utilize high level and platform specific social media and marketing strategies that will improve your work. It will also show you how to build a personal brand so that even if you’re forced to leave your job, a situation that’s especially relevant today, you’ll be able to easily find employment elsewhere in a field you’re passionate about.

Myth #4

I need to quit my job to take advantage of this book’s entrepreneurial lessons.

While the entrepreneurial strategies in this book do take time, it’s completely reasonable to start the effort as an after-work project to build up until you’re able to replace your current income with the income from your online presence. While you may have to fall behind on the current season of Lost or let your Madden 2010 game suffer, because you’ll be doing something you love you won’t mind putting in the extra effort.

In Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk shows how anyone can build a career around what they’re passionate about. He also delivers both high-level and platform specific strategy and analysis, allowing you to take advantage of the current business environment while preparing you to succeed as it changes and evolves.

This book isn’t interested in making unrealistic promises while glossing over the work involved. Making a living by building content around your passion isn’t simple and it doesn’t happen overnight. What it is, however, is fulfilling and in most cases just as profitable, if not more so, than your previous job.

Furthermore, a business can’t just pay lip service to social media and expect it to return results. The transparency and accountability inherent in its structure necessitates a comprehensive and dedicated strategy in order to reap its tremendous benefits.

By combining practical analysis and strategy with the same passion and humor that’s made Gary one of the most in demand keynote speakers in the U.S. as well as network television’s go to wine expert, Crush It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and harness the future of business and work.

Learn: Why social media has evened the playing field, destroying the “gate-keepers” who had previously dictated the distribution of content.

Learn: How to beat unemployment and create wealth-building opportunities by building and maintaining a personal brand.

Learn: Why storytelling is the most important business concept in the current marketplace.

Learn: How you can build an online business around your passion without quitting your day job.

Learn: Why Twitter and Facebook are just tools and not a social media strategy.

Learn: How to take advantage of the half-billion dollars in advertising that are moving to the internet

Learn: Why transparency and being true to yourself are now winning marketing formulas

Learn: How to build and maintain an online community around your passion and brand

Learn: Strategies for turning attention into money

Learn: Why the legacy element of the internet era is so underrated

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From the Great Resignation to the Next Entrepreneurial Boom!

The Great Resignation is already drastically reshaping the corporate landscape, but its impact could have repercussions far beyond big businesses.

new survey indicates that the sizable number of people who are considering leaving their jobs aren’t just looking for new ones with better benefits or salaries. Some see it as a chance to start their own companies – and the result could be a massive influx of entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Since mid-2021, Americans had filed paperwork to start 3.2 million businesses, according to the Census Bureau. That’s a 41% increase over the same time frame in 2020 (which saw the most applications since the Bureau began tracking them) – and a 61% increase over the same period in 2019.

There have been more than 6 million filings since the pandemic began.

Read the Entrepreneurial Boom Could Be Looming HERE.

The Ten Most Common Types of Entrepreneurship

While the basic principles of entrepreneurship are the same—planning, starting and operating a business—the distinct nuances and skills needed vary depending on the type of business you plan to start. Becoming an entrepreneur requires the ability to define these differences and pinpoint the unique elements that are needed.

Traditionally, entrepreneurship is categorized into four main types: small businesses, scalable startups, large companies and social entrepreneurs. These models cover the fundamentals of starting a business and focus more on the company itself, rather than the qualities of the entrepreneur.

“However, just as the world continues to change, so do businesses. This means new opportunities for risk-taking and innovative game changers to pave the way in diverse entrepreneurial ways.”

With this in mind, even though there are quite a few similarities when it comes to the challenges that all business owners will face, there are certain types of entrepreneurship defined by the skills, characteristics, and personality traits of the entrepreneur. At the end of the day, it is the way you choose to run your business that makes them differ from one another.

Read more about the various types of entrepreneurship HERE.

How To Switch From An Employee To An Entrepreneur Mindset

Being an entrepreneur is an exciting and rewarding undertaking and, if you’re motivated by the thought of being your own boss, don’t be put off by the changes you’ll need to make to become a success. Not having one boss can mean you now have many, when you’re answering to your customers, your bank manager and the large number of people who are going to be looking to you for answers.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t the same as being an employee – no matter how high up the career ladder you’ve climbed. But the freedom you get as an entrepreneur means that you can develop your business, and run your life, in the way you think is best.

Read more about making the transition from employee to entrepreneur easier HERE.

Check HERE for books about entrepreneurship.

Acceler8Success Group

To learn more about comprehensive services and resources for current and aspiring entrepreneurs, please visit Acceler8Success Group website HERE.

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3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership

Many people have a dream of owning a business. It’s an American Dream!

However, whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure their dream-turned-reality starts off on the right foot.

Improve Financial Health

Review FinancesReview and analyze personal finances. As a first step, it’s essential to understand income coming in and expenses going out each and every month of the year. Think ahead to bills that come due quarterly or annually.

Plan a firm budget. The goal is to ensure living expenses are met for a minimum of one year after starting a business. If a vacation is planned during this period, it must be included in the budget. Pay off all short-term debt to the extent it’s possible and practical to do so.

If savings or income from investments are not allocated for living expenses it’ll be necessary for personal income to continue through year one. Lenders will require a solid plan that is not dependent upon first year income from the new business. This may require a spouse or life partner continuing their employment while the business gets on firm footing.

Review credit reports for accuracy. Challenge all errors and keep records of the same. Organize all financial records including bank statements, investment account records and insurance policies – auto, health & life.

Consider working through the above with an independent financial coach who can provide valuable professional insight and perspective. From a confidential, non-judgmental position they can help resolve some issues requiring attention that may have initially appeared to have been barriers to business ownership.

Network as Much as Possible

Meet with members of the local business professional services community – bankers, attorneys, financial planners, accountants, realtors. Share plans to start a business within the community. Develop a network of these professionals and keep them apprised of progress.

Attend and actively participate in networking events well in advance of commencing business operations. Networking provides great benefits from a very early stage including introduction of the business to the community, support from fellow business owners and assurance of a busy grand opening.

From visiting with business professional to attending local chamber meetings to participating in community functions, personal involvement starts to establish a long-term commitment to the community. Owning and operating a business is about establishing and building relationships. Do so as early as possible.

Be Honest with Yourself

Although working through due diligence is essential it’s important not to over-analyze to the point of procrastination… or even, paralysis. Taking the necessary steps outlined above should set a foundation of being well-informed and yes, a foundation of comfort and confidence, as well.

But, only with an honest evaluation that the steps were actually taken and worked through should a final decision be made to move forward.

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The Truth About Startups

The process

Many people think startups are up and to the right all the time. But more exhibit this startup curve than any other growth pattern. Of course, some never get past the “trough of sorrow”. But many do. Mostly by staying focused on the problem they are trying to solve and working diligently to get to the promised land.

Would love to hear some thoughts on this from today’s entrepreneurs!

50 Inspirational Quotes for Startups and Entrepreneurs

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple

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Acceler8Success Cafe Friday 11.13.20

5 Ways to Help Your Small Business Survive During the Pandemic

Covid has been the ultimate disrupter to the global economy. Fortune 500 companies and small start-ups alike have felt the blow, but it’s the small businesses that have suffered the most.

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. According to the World Economic Forum, small businesses are responsible for employing nearly half of the private sector workforce. However, during these volatile times where social distancing measures have been put in place and mandatory shut-downs have happened, many small businesses have not been able to survive.   

In September, Yelp released its latest Economic Impact Report revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of Covid. According to Yelp data, permanent closures have reached 97,966, representing 60 percent of closed businesses that won’t be reopening. Read more.

Veteran Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Adapt and Overcome Unprecedented Challenges

“This year, military veteran entrepreneurs have seen their businesses shuttered or put on pause by the pandemic, faced supply chain issues, and have had to continuously adapt operations in response to changing realities on the ground. This year has also shown a spotlight on an issue that has persisted for too long: the systemic racism in our nation that creates barriers to entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs and small business owners that are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. With that awareness, Bunker Labs is creating a space that helps entrepreneurs overcome challenges posed by the pandemic and systemic racism by providing the tools, resources, and inclusive community that facilitate growth,” said Bunker Labs CEO Blake Hogan. Read more.

Survey: Small business owners’ uncertainty increased in October

More small business owners throughout the country expressed feeling uncertain about their economic future in the month before the election, although general optimism remained steady, according to research by the National Federation of Independent Business.

The NFIB’s Uncertainty Index increased by six points to 98 in October, while the Optimism Index held at 104. 

“Leading up to the presidential election, small businesses continued to focus on stabilizing their businesses but were uncertain about the future economic conditions due to COVID-19 government regulations on all levels,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist. “We see solid momentum going into the fourth quarter, and another good quarter could get the GDP back to its 2019 closing levels.” Read more.

If you wouldn’t think about building a house without blueprints, why would you consider building a business without blueprints? Like plans for a home, business blueprints should include each component necessary for long-term benefit. Franchise Foundry can help ensure you have the right blueprints specifically for you as you explore the American Dream of business ownership! Learn more.

Five Emerging Disruptive Technologies For Entrepreneurs To Observe

While there are endless articles highlighting the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and blockchain, there are other emerging technologies that are often neglected by entrepreneurs. These technologies have the potential to completely disrupt the aerospace, health and manufacturing sectors. In this article, will explore five potential breakthrough technologies and how I believe they will converge. Read more.

Election Results Frame Positive Future For Franchising

This 2020 election season has been one like no other. The months leading up to election day — and indeed the days following election day — have been both passionate and tumultuous. With the election now over, the future for franchising is predictable and promising. Read more.

Franchise Foundry represents a number of quick service restaurant (QSR) brands realizing year-over-year sales increases.- Low initial investment – Funding support- Site selection assistance- Small real estate footprint- Support & training- Multi-unit opportunities- Multi-brand opportunities. Learn more.

SBA Loans: What Is an SBA Loan?

When a small business owner needs financing, the first option to come to mind is usually a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA). While many people are familiar with the term “SBA loan,” they often aren’t clear on what these loans are, or even how to get them. We’ve provided a general overview of the common SBA loan programs to help you decide which programs may fit your business needs best.

The SBA provides several small business financing options. The six most common loans offered by the SBA are 7(a) loans, 504 loans, CAPLines, export loans, microloans, and disaster loans. We have summarized the basic requirements, costs, terms, and application process for each of these SBA loans. Read more.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan

Benetrends has been securing SBA financing  for 35+ years and has one of the best loan approval success rates in the industry. With a large and expanding network of lenders, you will have choices when it comes to selecting a loan.  You’ll also have access to our dedicated staff – experts in loans for businesses – to ensure the fastest possible application processing, including a dedicated loan closer to assist with the closing process. Learn more.

Acceler8Success Cafe Thursday 11.12.20

How to Overcome First-Time Entrepreneurial Fear

Picture this: you’re swimming across the open ocean, but have no idea where you’re going. Slowly, but then all at once, the panic sets in. The sea is massive. It’s terrifying. Very quickly, it begins to swallow you up.

You need a plan, or you’re going to drown. Unlike a regular job where your boss gives you tasks to do every day, you’re your own boss. Read more.

The Voices Of Entrepreneurs, From Arkansas To Appalachia To Montana

When we lose small businesses, our divisions deepen. In the 30 years leading up to the Great Recession, fully 80% of metro areas experienced an increase in the number of firms annually. This trend was completely reversed by the Great Recession, after which only 20% of metro areas have seen an increasing number of companies created. New business formation has been depressed in most of the country. Read more.

Dark Truths About Entrepreneurship: What To Do When The Love Is Gone

So you’ve decided you want to be an entrepreneur, huh? City slicking between meetings at the pace of a cheetah and hunting to close the next deal, secure the next partnership, make the next sale. There was an allure to this life that drew you in. Or perhaps, you started simply because you wanted to support your family and being self-sufficient made sense. 

If you’re reading this, it’s highly probable that you’re already living the entrepreneurial “dream.” Yet, it can fast become a nightmare for some. There’s a dark side to this path — and plenty of struggle for those who choose to walk down it. Read more.

Are you ready to franchise your business or put your recently franchised brand on the right track?

10-Step Roadmap to Franchising Success

You’re intimately familiar with your starting point – the business you’ve nurtured and grown. You understand your destination – successful franchises around the country or around the world. You have the passion and the proof of concept, but you don’t have the roadmap to move from point A to point B. You’re not alone. 

Most business owners looking to expand into franchising are both anxious and excited, unsure and confident. It helps to learn from those who have traveled the road on which you’re about to embark, both to avoid the potholes and to recognize the markers that lead to success. Read more.

Follow This Entrepreneur’s 3-Step Approach to Cultivating a Killer Brand

Branding is the most commonly used phrase in business circles, but is also often the least understood.

For Jonathan Jadali, CEO of Ascend Agency, a PR form that works with top Fortune 500 companies, a brand is not a tangible thing. As he told me in a recent conversation, it is “a strong feeling that a business creates in the minds of its customers, that creates an emotional bond and passion for their businesses and produces loyalty.” Read more.

If you’re looking for a business lending source to help finance your start-up or manage your future wealth, contact us today. Benetrends Financial, a pioneer in the industry, has helped thousands of potential small business owners like yourself secure funding over the past 35 years. Learn more.

Acceler8Success Cafe Veteran’s Day 11.11.20

On this Veteran’s Day let’s keep in mind the following quote by George Washington…

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal

The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is designed to save time with direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship. It also makes it easier for small businesses to access federal services, regardless of its source—and quickly connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant ‘best-practices’ and information. Learn more.

Entrepreneurship Center offers help as businesses adapt to the pandemic

After a spike in unemployment due to the pandemic, many businesses and entrepreneurs are still trying to catch up.

Kristin Gaspke, who leads WCC’s Entrepreneurship Center, said there’s help for new and existing businesses. Last month, Gaspke and the EC team hosted a four-week Zoom webinar titled “How to Start and Optimize Your Business.”

“99% of what we do in the Entrepreneurship Center for the WCC family is free. We offer all of our programs to everyone. If you look at the pictures on our website, I can tell you the story about each student in the center at that time and where they are now,” said Gaspke. “Today, some of them are still local business owners.” Read more.

The story of the Shop Small® Movement

Small Business Saturday continues to be an annual holiday shopping tradition — just one part of the larger Shop Small Movement that supports small businesses every day and everywhere. Because shopping at a family-owned framing spot or buying a handmade ring from your favorite online small business helps to promote more vibrant communities. Learn more.

Over the next two weeks leading up to #SmallBusinessSaturday we’ll be posting photos like the one below to continue to create awareness that franchises are small business just like Mom & Pop businesses on Any Street, USA. And, just like those independent business owners, franchise owners take entrepreneurial risk, invest their life savings, work long hours, give back to their local communities, compete with big box retailers and much more. Please help in this cause by sharing these posts across social media. #ShopSmall #ShopLocal #ShopFranchise

How Small Businesses Can Adapt to Changing Consumer Behavior

Small businesses have faced immense challenges as they’ve been fully or partially shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. According to U.S. Census data, nearly 80% of small businesses reported a moderate or large negative effect from COVID-19 as recently as of mid-August.

But after a difficult spring and early summer, during which time one in five businesses reported applying for and receiving loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the landscape is beginning to look up. Small businesses are increasingly reopening, with 86% reporting that they are either fully (52%) or partially (34%) open. Read more.

The Secret to Business Survival in Today’s Tough Market

As we were ringing in 2020, it’s safe to say that nearly no one could have imagined the novel year that was virtually at our doorsteps. Like a monsoon, Covid-19 arrived. And with it a plethora of changes to not only how we live and work, but how business is conducted.

Quarantines and lockdowns became a way of life, forcing companies to transform how they operate. Office staff, sales reps, and others who were considered non-essential workers began working from home. In person meetings and sales calls became a thing of the past, replaced by collaboration tools to boost the efficiency of virtual teams. Read more.

Accelerating Success for individuals and brands alike!

Acceler8Success Cafe Thursday 11.5.20

People, Business, Strategy: Defining The Pillars For Entrepreneurial Success

A fresh approach to establishing a new company begins with an optimistic mindset, followed by a strategic plan. Establishing your market position as an entrepreneur requires insight into your leadership style and characteristics, as well as an awareness of your personal brand and its position in the market. Having a solid business strategy that is aimed to define, stimulate and advance your company’s purpose, progress and profitability is also a key aspect of entrepreneurial success. 

Outlining and developing these pillars will highlight your organization’s value proposition and create brand awareness for a competitive advantage. Read more.

4 Small Business Lending Trends to Watch in 2021

Small companies have a big impact on the U.S. economy. Business Insider says small companies make up 99 percent of all private sector businesses and they employ 60 percent of all the workers in the country.

These companies are particularly vulnerable to cash flow issues, so fluctuations in the small business lending market are vitally important to the economy. What small business lending trends are affecting American entrepreneurs through 2021? Read more.

If you’re looking for a business lending source to help finance your start-up or manage your future wealth, contact us today. Benetrends Financial, a pioneer in the industry, has helped thousands of potential small business owners like yourself secure funding over the past 35 years. Learn more.

How Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Can Hire and Retain Top-Notch Talent

Lifestyle entrepreneurs who have built a business that suits their needs and feeds their passion are in the ideal position to make it in their industry. After all, it’s not just that they’ve chosen to do what they love – they’re experts who have taken their corporate experience and poured it into an innovative business model.

However, the time comes in every entrepreneur’s life when they realize that they can’t take care of business all on their own. And that’s where talent acquisition comes in. Read more.

The Best Small Businesses to Start in a Recession

Yes, you can still start a small business during a recession. Some small businesses even thrive in a difficult economy. These businesses are called counter-cyclical or recession-proof businesses.

Starting any small business during a recession is a baptism by fire, but if you can survive, you will thrive as the economy recovers. Read more.

This year’s theme is #VetBiz Resources in Your Local Community which highlights the breadth of free to low-cost entrepreneurial resources that veteran and military entrepreneurs can access right in their neighborhood. Find events near you.