Designing A Business That Lasts

Are You Diamond Tough?

When thinking about being resilient, I think about starting a business with what I love to do what I am passionate about and what I have the most skills to do. Many people start their business because they want to make money or it’s something that they figured people want to buy, but they haven’t tapped into their purpose, dream, or vision, and skills. But when you find a business owner or an entrepreneur that’s doing something that they love and would do even if they did not make money, then that is the start of a resilient business. What I talk more about resilience in my previous post. About pushing through the hard times, going the extra mile when nobody is rooting for you.

For today's message, I think of diamonds and what they endure to become more valuable. A diamond is resilient it takes the pressure and intense fire to create the brightest and the rarest diamonds. When I think about a diamond, it’s one of those coveted things that people throw money on and lavish people in. It is so rare,  it is so precious, and it is valuable. Doesn’t that sound good for a business to be unique and precious and valuable?  A resilient company is a rare diamond. That means it’s going to endure grime, intense heat, severe pressure, cutting, and polishing to shine and increase in value. 

A diamond in the raw is not very pretty, but it takes a keen eye, and determination to see the potential and put the work in to make it shine. 

It's not easy to build a resilient business,  but when you create something you love or are passionate about it is worth it.  When you feel like you were "born for this," that is the foundation for the drive to sustain and grow a resilient business.  It’s who you are, on your mind 24/7. You enjoy thinking of new solutions, services, products, or whatever comes to mind.  That is the kind of business  I encourage people to build, and I help them to design and discover. That is what will bring you the most rewarding experience in what you do. Your business is a diamond in the rough. Do you have what it takes to  extract it and make it valuable? (cue Mervis Diamond commercial with a heavy accent.)

 So how do you find if you have what it takes to design a 'diamond tough' business?  Take some time and think about the following items:

1. Figure out what your purpose is. 

2. What is the reason you do what you do?

3.  Do you do it well?

4.  Do you love it?

5. Think about what is working, what you enjoy doing on a day-to-day, and why you enjoy it.

6. Think about the things that move you, excite you, or bring you peace,  enjoyment, and contentment.

7. How Can you serve others or solve their problems?

Is your business diamond tough?

Even if you already have been in business for a while, can you answer the questions above clearly and still feel passion for what you are doing? Or have you grown lackluster with your business?  To develop and be resilient, you have to have a purpose, tag on skills, and you won't stop. You want that purpose to happen, and you do whatever it takes to make that a reality. Take some time reevaluate where you are and answer the questions honestly to start your path to resilience and creating a 'diamond-tough' business.

 

If you are just starting out and are looking for some strategic resources to help guide you, my D-I-Y solutions and products are a start for you. 

Already in business and need to break out of your growth rut? Work with me directly through my  Business Resilience Solutions and make your vision a concrete, 'diamond tough' reality. 

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.
hilarious concept.jpg

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.) Go 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. You will get a better return on your investment if you focus on marketing and catering services to meet the needs of customers who actually understand your value and are willing to pay.

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 outlines each 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. Click Here to download  a quick worksheet to prepare you to create your business model. 

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 optimize and expand your business. Stay tuned for the next installment of Building a Resilient Business in 3 Steps.

Want help getting set up for sustainable growth? Check out my Business Resilience Services that will save you time and headaches while expanding your business. 

Ready to do some D-I-Y work? Check Out my next online course to guide you on setting up your resilient business or project idea. 

 

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.