Building A Resilient Business in 3 Steps- Step 1: Conceptualization

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Building a lasting, purposeful, profitable business requires 'grit' and planning, vision, and execution. Business Resilience is your business growth security formulated in 3 phases, Conceptualization, Optimization, and Expansion. 

In the Beginning....

You started your business with hope and excitement, and the expectation that 'when you build it, they will come.'  Well reality sinks in and you see all of the hard work you put in to getting set up, you may get one or two clients, but not the overflow you were looking for.  In a moment of revenue panic you start chasing after anything and everything. However this takes you down a confusing and exhausting path away from initial goal(s). These actions also create brand confusion and people won't understand what you do.

Does this sound like you?

  • You chase after 'any' kind of work or client to bring in revenue.
  • You've purchasedfancy marketing materials.
  •  You put your ads in the local paper.
  •  You joined networking groups, and
  • You even set up your social media account(s) (but haven't really had time to do anything with them because you are busy taking care of the few customers you have.)
  • You are frustrated with all of the busy-work and not seeing a return.
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If any of this sounds like you. You are not alone. You don't have to hit your head against the wall trying to figure it all out. Let me help you lighten your load, and build a purposeful, profitable business.

So what do you do? You slow down, take a pause and begin to build your Resilient Business. What is Business Resilience you ask? It's the 'Grow Your Business To Last' Solution. Check out my previous Blog Post about the "bounce back solution".

The 'Grow Your Business To Last' Solution

What are the things you can do to make your business resilient? Well there are 3 steps I bring to you Conceptualize, Optimize, and Expand. In this post I will talk about the first step in building a resilient business. What does it entail? First assess your current state, determine your future state, and what will be needed to get there. Really narrow down who your ideal client and your ideal solution/service, and solidify your brand messaging.

Conceptualization is accomplished in 4 steps.

1. Assess

First you need to figure out where you are truly and what you have (skills, secret sauce, unique talents.) Click Here to download a free Resilience Starter Guidebook that will take you through the process of narrowing down you niche', your target audience, and other valuable building blocks for a resilient business.

2. Create Your Vision Plan

This is your "Big Picture Plan"  for your business. (Click Here to Download a Printable Vision Plan)

A. Decide what your 'why'. Your purpose for going into business, even if you already have a business started. Narrowing down your 'Why' and then who would benefit the most from your unique offering. * Here is a quick tipto save you time and add value to what you do.  Use the Starter Guidebook as a guide to measure quickly which potential customers to focus on.  At the top of the Customer Pyramid are the 'Blue' customers, these are the people who completely get your business and are willing to pay. You will get a better return on your investment if you focus on marketing and catering services to meet their needs and address pain points.

B. Decide which of your unique services or solutions you want to focus on and that you love to do. This is where you shape what your business goals and what you ultimately want to do day-in and day out. Choose wisely, it is hard enough to run a business you love, but if you continue doing things you do not enjoy it will not last. You will hit a block, that is why this part of the process is critical for the future success of your business.

3. Build Your Business Blueprint

  • This is where you start putting teeth into your Vision Plan by creating all of the elements to make your vision a concrete reality. Your Business Model. Business Models are a great tool for creating the road map for your resilience in a single, easily adjustable plan. You can configure the elements in any order, as long as they are all present. Business Models provide a practical reflection of where your business is and how it will set up to support the new vision.

The following list outlineseach of the elements of the business model.

Business Model Elements

Target Customer Segments - Who are your ideal customers? Who are you creating value for?

Value Configurations - How is your business set up to drive value (i.e. value chain - linear, value shop, value network)

Distribution Channels - How will you execute and get your product/ Solution out?

Cost Structure - What are the expenses to execute your business model?

Revenue Streams - What are the sources of revenue that will cover those expenses?

Customer Relationships - What type of relationships do you currently have with your customers? What relationships are expected and how can you improve them? Add in 'Customer Delights'

Partner Network - Who are the businesses that are needed for executing your service or solution? (Your business ecosystem)

Core Capabilities- What unique skills/components of your business that contribute to your value creation solution, and cannot be easily imitated by competitors?

Value Propositions - What irresistible offering you will provide for your customers?

Business models are meant to flow with your business and change or tweak based on the influences of the environment, industry, strategy change, etc.

4.Solidify Your Brand Identity and Messaging

Branding & Messaging - What are you known for and how can we tell it's you? That is the bottom line with branding and messaging. Messaging means you have a compelling story or solution that resonates with your target audience. Your brand identity solidifies that message and correlates images and colors (overall aesthetics) with your message. Think of Target and Apple and Nike. These are just a few examples of branding that has worked. Branding is more than just a logo, it is your image, your fonts, colors, symbols, photo finishing, etc. Once you have established how you want to be seen, you should solidify your marketing materials, online presence, etc. in a uniform way.

Key Points to Remember

  • Understanding that fits with your new model includes understanding your colors and fonts and graphic filters and what they mean.  Yes it all matters in marketing your business. Your logo, brand identity and purpose matter with what you want your business to represent. When I worked at Lockheed Martin (defense contractor) I remember wanting to create a quick presentation to use at a Government speaking event. I had to refer to the company's 60 page marketing manual on how to properly use their brand. It was very specific. If a multi-billion dollar corporation puts so much effort in its branding and marketing, how much more should you focus on these elements for the success and messaging of your business.
  • Figure out which form you will use to spread your message, social media, books, speaking platforms, guest writers in published articles in your target customer's realm.

So What's Next?

Now that you have gone through the four elements of Conceptualization you have the building blocks for the first part of your resilient business and lasting growth. This simply scratches the surface. Once You have completed the first phase Conceptualization, you are ready to move to the Optimization phase. Optimization continues the fortification of your business with documenting your methods, ways you implement your business services, and your engagement planning. Stay tuned for the next installment of Building a Resilient Business in 3 Steps.

How I Can Help!

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If you would like to take a little break and have these important steps done-for-you, learn more about my Business Consulting Service here. Interested in getting started working together? Complete my Interest Survey and select which service you would like to try out. 

 

 

Inspiration for Staying Resilient

Wow ain't that the truth. I feel when things seem really rough or difficult or have me down, something awesome is around the corner and I have to dig deep into my purpose and my "why" and not lose ground. Sometimes that means just holding my position, not moving forward but absolutely not wavering or moving back. Here's to pushing through the bad days and holding your own.! # Getitdone

 

This is a quick pick me up post to remind us that though the struggle is real, it is all so worth it. I would not have it any other way. I feel like the grit and the grind is what makes the little and big victories so amazing and sweet. Everyone always asks what kinds of fears or what is stopping you from achieving your dreams. I think I am living the dream. Seriously. It is a weird place to be, no I am not rich. No I don't have thousands of followers. I don't even know if anyone will read this post. But I honestly am just sharing and I keep writing what is in my heart and my mind so that one day it will help someone out there as they are struggling and working to make their dream a reality.

A bad day for me could look like, basement flooded, internet went out, no new work coming in, and one of my kids sick…..Okay, (that actually was pretty close to some of the days I have had.) There were moments I just wanted to sit on the steps and cry and just not move. BUT, that was not going to make a change or a difference in my circumstance. So I had to take a breath and deal with the first obstacle, and then the next obstacle and the next until I completely tackled through everything on my plate. I just dusted myself off and jumped in to solution mode.

The key is too acknowledge your emotions and feelings. Don't try to hide them and say through a forced smile "Oh, everything is just fine. I'll be okay." but knowing you are screaming inside. It is okay to say it SUCKS!! Its okay to say you don’t like the situation you are in. It is okay to say SERIOUSLY??!@??!!! It is okay. Give yourself permission to feel, to scream, to vent until the initial blow of the emotion is out. Then take a deep breath and start to figure it out.

Conquer the moment and don't let it bring you into a place of negativity and you start down a karmic spiral of doubt, fear, desperation. And definitely, do not expose yourself to people who will throw salt into your wounds, or completely ignore the wound and step all over you if you let them. So yes, let the haters go, choose to stay away from the toxicity of doubters and nay-sayers. Embrace those who areeither in the fight with you, or at least respect the grind. Cue song from Disney's Frozen " Let the storm rage on! The cold doesn’t bother me anyway!.- hair and cape flip!

What Is A "Bounce Back" Solution? SBR

Small Business Resilience Is Your "Bounce Back" Solution.

Small Business Resilience Is Your "Bounce Back" Solution.

"Fan into flame the gift of God, for the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline" paraphrased 2 Timothy 1:6-7.

I share these scriptures because they are so relevant to business and our mindset and motivation to pursue our passions, visions, and dreams. It is challenging to start a business or a new venture, delving into an unknown reality with pitfalls and high-points. I think Psalm 23 sums up not only life and its ups and downs, but is highly applicable to entrepreneurship and growing a business. We are our businesses, we are our brands. What happens in our lives trickles and sometimes pours into our daily business endeavors and operations.  What I want to talktoday is the heart and soul of my business, the purpose and the solution I am presenting to grinders, go-getters, dreamers, and visionaries. Small Business Resilience.

The Struggle is Real

The graphic of Coach Caleb"A single day as an Entrepreneur" had me on the floor when I first saw it. I thought "YAASSSSSSS he nailed it!" He found a way to capture every emotion you feel in a day. I actually tested this out and showed the picture to different people and the ones who actually were truly in the grind bust out laughing , others just smiled that vague smile which (to me) shows they were not truly relating to the struggle. The struggle is real, the struggle is real. Looking at this picture today, I also see all of the little spots where I provide that motivation, inspiration, and solutions to make those "totally lost", "I'm Gonna Die", "pick yourself up man!" moments less painful. I didn't say take away, because they are part of the package. BUT, it is how you bounce back from those moments that matter.  And there lies the basic foundation of Small Business Resilience - it's the "bounce back" solution for small business success.

The 'Bounce Back' Solution

I am not saying that we should be reactionary all the time. Not at all. My focus is on putting the right pieces in place on the front-end so that when you hit those bumps and walls, you are able to 'bounce back' and get to the "It was worth it!" moments. One of my pet peeves is wasting time. I am that person that would rather load up my arms and carry all the groceries in the house at one time, than make several trips. Every moment should be allocated to something that is forward moving for your purpose, your passion, your family, your life. So when I take time to create a product or solution or offer advice, I ask myself (is this the best use of someone's time ?Will they feel inspired, motivated, more focused with this solution?). I always welcome honest feedback to let me know if I am truly helping or if I missed the mark.

Why I do what I do.

For the record, I am not coming to you all as a multi-millionaire, with this huge empire coming to share my knowledge on my world domination. No, I have had my successes in industry an earned my 20 years of experience, but now I am right there with you growing my passion and vision and sharing insight and solutions along the way. Community over competition resonates so much with me, because it is the idea to work together to pull each other up and share ideas to all get over the finish line, whatever that looks like for you. I've got your back, and want to see you succeed in the most authentic and awe-inspiring way so you can pay it forward and help someone else. I believe if you have drive, heart, and a purpose ANYTHING is possible. I am here to help you make it real!

So What's Next?

 

Get dreaming and get moving on your vision.

You can subscribe to my mailing list. But I always have to add this disclaimer: I can't guarantee I am one of those people that have tons of emails already ready to go and send out and on autopilot. (Kudos to them.!), BUT I do love sharing information that I feel is of the moment or helpful when it strikes.

I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you. FYI - today as I write this I started off at the "Pick yourself up man!" point , but now I am at the "wow look how far I have come." moment LOL. Share in the comments below what stage you are in as you read this. I'd love to hear it.

Peace & Blessings!

 

The Path to Business Resilience

I met a business owner the other day who has a business for over 15 years and they never thought about a business model, their passion, purpose, or end game. Like so many business owners we jump in to our business feet first and hit the ground running not looking back. Immediately pulled in the 'get-it-done' cycle . Next thing you know you are knee deep in client requirements, you have employees to deal with and you are pulled in a million directions. What do you do?

 

Or you are jumping into the federal contracting world (brave soul) and you are floundering trying to get traction. You may get a couple of low hanging fruit contracts here and there, but nothing really moving the needle for you. The average small business is successful and meets their customers needs, but they get to a place of complacency and stagnation where they don't know which way to go next to grow and to make a lasting impression. Or they have found themselves in a field over-saturated with other businesses doing the same thing.

This is where having a strategic portfolio, business model, implementation plans, engagement plans, pipelines, and branding and messaging platforms become game-changing for your business. Having everything in a seamless, cohesive package would be a dream right? Knowing the right opportunities to pursue, the right people to partner with (and even understanding the advantages of partnering and what gaps you need filled specifically). These are all time and money-saving bonuses that make building your value, visibility , and resilience a dream.

You are a hard worker, you have a passion, you have skills, you have knowledge. All of those things are revenue streams for your business. You've got information that people need to know. You haveshortcuts and quick hacks for everyday troubles of your customer base. You may not realize the gold mine you are sitting on that is called "your brain".

What if there was a proven way for you to design your strategic focus for your business, build a business model to capture your new value creating business with processes and methodologies, implementation plans to guide the way. What if you could save time on new opportunities by creating an opportunity profile and partnering profile that builds a pipeline of valid, winning opportunities. What if you could build a brand and message platform that compels your target customer to seek you out as the answer to their need?

Get your Business Resilience Starter Package 

Well my friend, today is your lucky day. Such a system exists. You can have all of this in 8 steps. It is a tedious and mind-intensive process, but the results and return on your investment are so high. What you put in is what you get out. You will have to dig deep into your mind and come up with content, vision, passion, and purpose. This program will stretch you and challenge you to think about the "why" in what you are doing, and the 'how' you do it. The purpose of the Resilient Business Design System is to create a repeatable model for your business that can be passed on for decades. 

11 Motivation Lessons from "World War Z"

I am sitting here in the work cafeteria eating a late dinner and about to work on my next design project and the movie "World War Z" is on. Of course I get sucked in a bit and immediately this post came to me. So here we go. Use it how you will and I am sorry for those who have not seen the movie. There are points I make that give away some major plot points. BUT you still have to watch it! It was something to see and experience. Major SPOILER alert.  I have watched this movie at least 10 times and it hits me in the gut every time. Just thinking as a mother of three under the age of 6, what would I do in that situation . I mean they make it seem like it could really happen and that fast. So eye opening.

Anyway, back to business:

Lesson #1: Knowledge is not Enough

Initially, everyone was putting their faith in the knowledge of scientist to figure it out, but it takes a seasoned investigator who has to pull on his previous experiences, knowledge and instincts to get him through. Resourcefulness, Instincts. As soon as that first moment and the truck hits the police officer, Jerry (Brad Pitt) springs into action and never stops until the end. INTENSE. It's beyond survival of the fittest it is also survival of the person with whit. The most determined and most resourceful. Duck tape (check), magazines (check), a gun and a kitchen knife (check), do whatever it takes to get my family out of this apartment alive (Check). Jerry pulled a McGyver and used the magazines for arm and shin guards and taped the knife to the end of the gun and fought like crazy to get his family to safety.

The Takeaway: What do you have around you and how can you use what you have to get the results you need? Draw on your experience. 

Lesson #2: Shed A Little Humor on a Bleak Situation

When the Military Captain in Korea made the joke to turn off your cell phones while they were being attacked slightly lightened the moment.

Take Away - Try to find something positive or funny to diffuse situations when you can.

Lesson #3: Partner Collaborations Matter

Another great scene is when they are in the apartment complex and the wife asks, "How do we know they are coming for us." and Jerry says without a doubt "There Coming." that is trust in someone that he established a relationship with for years. And the impact of new relationships with people (the young boy he met at the apartment complex, he must have inspired because that little boy fought his way out when his father and mother were killed and his father turned zombie tried to kill them all. He also had to rely on the kindness of others and take a chance with trusting complete strangers out of necessity.

Take Away: partners both new and old are essential to your success. Cultivate those relationships whenever you can. Seek them out if you don't have them.

 

Lesson #4: Relationships Matter

Your close circle. Another relationship worth mentioning is Jerry's Wife and how he kept in touch with her the entire time and that was his touch point to humanity and his driving force.

Take Away: Don't lose sight of those important relationships in your life (family, friends, etc. ) Find time to be with them even as you drive forward. Like right now it is 12 a.m. I am working, I am away from my family but I have to get things done. (I went home, hugged the kids and my husband, and then headed back to the office for an all-nighter knowing I would be home early the next day. )

Lesson #5 Picking your Team:

Everyone on the Navy Carrier serves a purpose the general says, they had no room for stragglers or "non-essential personnel". IT was lean and they had to keep it that way to get things done. (how to handle team and pick your team.  - they need to be talented in what they do. "Do you boo-boo do you!" If everyone does what they are great at, the world would run so much more smoother. Picking the right person and staying to your strength is very important. The young scientist that was supposed to figure it all out was given a gun and at the fist sign of danger and Zombies he runs and shoots himself because he slips.

Takeaway: Know your strength and hold your ground. Face your problems instead of running away from them.

Lesson #6 Eliminate Distractions:

Let's talk about distractions and how they can lead to your demise if you let them. Flash to the scene they are on bikes trying to quietly get to the plane ( I told you spoiler alert) and Jerry's wife calls him and the phone ringing causes the zombies to wake up and attack. Another intense scene.

Takeaway: It's pretty obvious. Just remove things that are not necessary and anticipate and isolate those things that may cause distraction along the way. 

Lesson #7: Have Laser Focus and Fearless Drive

Then we can't forget the simplicity of the zombies. I mean it is pure nature how they were laser focused on what they wanted (food) and they would throw themselves over buildings and walls to go after a target with no care of danger to themselves. Almost a complete recklessness that sometimes was successful and other times just epic failure.

Takeaway: Don't give up even when it seems impossible. 

Lesson #8: Be Ready to Adjust and Act Even when Others mess things up.

In the movie, the fall of Israel was due to harmless actions of those not having all of the facts and they were just expressing themselves. Cost the city. Jerry knew but it was out of his control. Had to adjust and rely on the military and his resourcefulness again to get out. And again on the plane…..

Take Away: Make the tough decisions and re-adjust your plans accordingly. Things happen no matter how much you prepare. You can't rest too long, gotta keep moving. Sometimes those tough decisions are painful physically, emotionally, etc for you and or for those around you.

Lesson #9: Take a Chance 

Looking at  the part where Brad Pit injects himself with a deadly virus on a hunch and then subjects himself to the zombies is a perfect example of businesses believing in something and taking action and stepping out on faith to support it. Sometimes you have to gamble on an idea (but make an educated guess based on the facts, your instincts, and as much research as you can come up with.)An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

The Takeaway: The best statement all movie is "Movement Is Life" is that not the truth. My husband and I use this all the time with the kids to get them going in the morning.

Lesson 10: Take Action for what you believe

Once Jerry figured out a possible solution he immediately had to rely on connections to put his plan in action not 100% sure it would work. He also had to face serious, life threatening adversity to see his plan played out. Not to mention he had to convince complete strangers to believe him and also help him. That takes some serious belief in what you are doing. An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

Take Away: Don't stop taking actions (no matter how minuscule they are, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.) Occasionally take some major jumps and strides.

Lesson #11: Savor the Success

An amazing exhilarating experience the walk through the hall that he had to sneak and hide to get there now he can walk head held high facing the angry mob of zombies and they run right past him like he is not there. It is incredible the determination. And courage. Actually the entire movie was an act of complete courage and trust and determination and the desire to live and protect his family.

Takeaway is obvious on this one. Seize the moment. Appreciate the win, but keep on moving on to the next thing.