Sarabwritings's Blog

August 18, 2012

Life

Filed under: General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 11:56 pm
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How is everyone tonight?

So, I want to apologize for not writing in a while. Business plan writing posts will resume again in the next few days. We have just moved Into our new apartment… Exciting but definitely time consuming.

Still freelancing, still writing, and still living life – now I just need to add in unpacking to that list, but it’s all great!!! And school starts 2.5 weeks… Then the real fun will begin 🙂

It’s a Saturday night and I’m watching pre-season football and unpacking….

Sara

August 12, 2012

You have your Mission Statement, right?

Time for your mission statement!! Why?

— A mission statement can help a new business gain potential investors. Shows where your business is and where it’s going
— For an individual it helps you keep focused
— For a growing business it will foster a team atmosphere for your employees
— Is our business in trouble? A clear mission can help you move in the right direction
— When decisions are needed it can help steer you in the right direction

A well-written mission statement will others, outside your business, have a clear idea of what you and your business stands for. So, where do you start? Let’s start with answering the following questions:

1. What do we do?
2. What products and/or services do we offer?
3. Who is our ideal customer?
4. What needs do we meet and what benefits do we provide?
5. What market do we serve (and geographic area)?
6. What sets us apart?
7. What’s the best thing a customer can say about us?
8. What gets us exited about the future of the company?

Now that you have answered each of these, you can craft your mission statement. Here are some things to keep in mind: describe who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart; use simple language; be as specific as possible; show your enthusiasm in your writing; avoid hyperbole; and think ahead.

When you are satisfied with your mission statement, it is time to make it star working for you. Get excited about it! Frame it; hang it where employees or clients (or both) can see it!! Live it!!

Keep working,
Sara

August 11, 2012

Where’s the money?

Sounds pretty obvious, right? But think about it for a minute. I am a writer but I can also edit and proofread as well. If someone needs a resume, I can offer an ad-on of a cover letter. A movie theatre sells tickets to the show, but what about everything from the concession stand? That’s where the real profit is. This is something to keep in mind while you produce your business plan.

August 8, 2012

How’s the Writing?

Filed under: Business Building,General Posts — by sarabwritings @ 4:55 pm
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So, how is your writing going?  Still working at your business plan?  Following all the steps?  GREAT!

My writing is going well.  Have my book out on Amazon, so very excited about that – trying to brainstorm ways to get people to write a review after they’ve read it, though. so any ideas?  Leave them in the comment section if you do!

Also had two more freelancing jobs in the past 2 weeks from eLance (still only the 1 hit on Guru) and the responses back to questions on eLance is greater as well.  The people on this site seem much more serious about the work they post.

And, overall, getting more traffic to my website and FB pages so that is a definite plus – slow going but building steadily.  And lastly, I am registered for my first 2 PhD courses for this Fall – double YAY!!!

More business plan writing posts to follow – after homemade chicken salad for lunch 🙂

Sara

August 7, 2012

What is your business?

What business are you in? Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. This is an important question you must ask yourself while you are still in the beginning stages of this process.

Start with the following questions:

1. What are the basic needs you will fill in today’s marketplace?
2. Beyond specific products, why will customers come to you?
3. What are the three nicest things customers would say about you?

So, why are these important. Let’s think for a moment. I am a freelancer and so my service is writing, but as an editor and proofreader aren’t I also offering peace of mind? I am offering this to my clients since they will know that any work I’ve looked at will be free of errors and will be the best it can possibly be. So, as a writer, editor, proofreader, etc. I am offering my clients peace of mind in addition to the writing skills they desire/need.

Now, your answers to these questions may not directly end up in your plan, but they will influence it as you write. Make sure you answer these questions honestly and thoroughly. Next we will talk about money and the mission.

Sara

August 6, 2012

Reality Check

Now that you’ve started answering questions it is time to do your first reality check. You want “objectively” ask yourself if what you are doing is a good idea or not. This is also where you will want to get a 2nd opinion.

Yes, make sure you get a second opinion and make sure it’s with someone OUTSIDE your company. You are looking for a mentor at this point. This should be someone experienced in your line of work (or at least similar). Make sure they see willing to tell you the truth too – the last thing you need is someone who agrees with everything and does not offer any critiques. Lastly, make sure this is someone you respect and can take criticism from, understanding they are only trying to help.

At this point it is also nice to have someone willing to play hardball or “devil’s advocate” with your plan. This will truly help you find any flaws.

Looking at yourself

Now it is time to turn inward for some self-reflection – do you have it takes to see this through? It is time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Rate the following:

Setting goals and pushing to achieve
Making decisions and completing tasks
Organizing a schedule and then getting things done
Staying focused on the task at hand
Juggling several tasks at once
Judging a person’s character
Getting along with others and bringing out their best
Listening to several sides and then making a decision
Leading a team even when their are disagreements
Understanding what motivates others
Resolving disputes amongst people
Saying what you mean and meaning what you say
Keeping your cool (especially when others are losing theirs)
Telling someone no
Tending to the details
Seeing the big picture
Adapting to changes
Taking risks
Taking responsibility, even when things go wrong

You can use a scale of 1-10 or a poor fair, good, excellent scale. Use whichever is best for you, but be honest – that is most important.

Sar

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