Sarabwritings's Blog

January 25, 2015

My journey continues

What exactly am I doing to get healthy, you may ask? I believe I mentioned in an earlier post the things that I had done to lose weight a few years ago: weight watchers, p90x and last year a stint with CrossFit and Paleo. The one I keep coming back to is BeachBody. So there must be a reason. When I decided to be honest with myself and make the choices I had to make to get myself healthy again, I decided to go with what I knew I liked, but I also knew I needed some extra accountability.

I chose Focus T-25 because it was ONLY 25 minute. Even I can manage that, right?!? Well, let me tell you I’m about to head into week 3 and I’ve lost 9lbs already. Well, I’m not going to lie some of that is from being sick, but more than half is from working out and eating healthy. I tell you this because I don’t believe health should be some well-kept secret that only those with tons of money can have. Being healthy is for everyone and it actually will end up saving you money because less visits to the doctors and when you plan out your meals you tend to spend less at the grocery store and you have less waste because you eat what you buy.

Sounds so simple, huh? Well, when I decided to try Focus T-25 I decided to sign up as a coach. I figured if I could help others while I helped myself that was a win-win. And it is because it keeps me ACCOUNTABIE!! Nothing is worse than not having like-minded people around you to help you with support and motivation. And, I won’t lie a little extra money helps too! So, if you want to get healthy with me, let me know. You can join a challenge group – you get me as your coach pushing you forward, support, motivation, and advice. Or you can step it up notch and be your own coach helping others – I will be there for you through that as well – we have a great team dedicated to helping new coaches.

Coaching Call

Talk to you soon,
Sara

July 30, 2012

Ideas needed! Where to look?

So, we know you want to be successful, right?  I thought so!  You know you need a business plan to be successful as well!  And, I know you are eager to get started.  So how do you generate ideas and then get them on paper?  Do you remember when you were in school and your teacher would tell you to brainstorm?  This is like that time when you were given 1 word or 1 phrase and told to think of as many things as you could and write them all down.  Easy, right?  I promise it won’t hurt at all 🙂

Today’s post is geared towards those of you who either need a new product in your business (or venture to rev things up a bit) or know you want to work for yourself but might not be 100% sure which direction to take.

Our brainstorming session is a little different from middle school; I am using this form from the Dummies series because it is easy to use and very self-explanatory:

 

MY FAVORITE THINGS

My Personal Strengths Things I Like to Do Products or Services I Really Like What I’d Do If I Won The Lottery
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fill in this table to generate ideas – you will quickly start to see a pattern!

Now you are going to take the ideas in each column and bring them together.  Choose one item from each column and combine them into a business idea – your new sentence will have 4 components.  You can mix and match, choose at random, or work across each row.  Voila!! You now have 3 business (or product) ideas!!

 

THE IDEA BLENDER

A personal strength:  
something I really like to do:  
Product or service I really like:
If I won the lottery, I’d:

Here is another great form from the “Dummies” series you can use!

Now, you want to think of challenges you and your business may face – don’t worry everyone faces challenges (for me it is marketing and being competitive without selling myself to low)!

  1. What are the most important challenges we currently face?
  2. What created these challenges?
  3. Which can we change (effectively)?
  4. What is the strategy to make the change?

Don’t forget to work with others on this – anyone who is part of your business can have input (or at least be a sounding board).  And if you have a business already, listen to your customers to see what they want to see from your business in the future – you can have a great idea, but if your customers don’t buy into it, it will not work!

Once you have your ideas and you’ve listed your challenges and how to overcome them, it is time to put a framework together:

  1. Describe your business opportunity in 2 sentences.
  2. List the 3 most important things of the your proposed product or service
  3. What basic customers needs will you fill?
  4. Briefly (2-3 sentences) describe who will purchase your product or service
  5. What are 2 or 3 similar, existing products?
  6. Why choose yours over the competition?
  7. How will you reach your customers?
  8. How do you plan to make money?

This is a lot to take in, so work on this and we will continue tomorrow.  Don’t forget to go back to earlier posts (listed under Business Building if you need to)!

Sara

July 29, 2012

You are not alone – researching and delegating

When you write your business plan, remember you do not need to do this alone!  There are many resources out there that you can use to help you with your plan – there is NO NEED to reinvent the wheel:

  • Use the internet to do some research – markets, customers, your competition, even what a plan looks like (though you will never 2 exactly the same)
  • Library – yes, an actual library can be useful – check out their periodical section on trends and markets – read some books
  • Business school – maybe you could take a class or a seminar on business
  • Journals – are there journals specific to your area?  I am pretty sure the answer is YES!!!  They are a great investment
  • US Small Business website – wealth of information
  • Trade shows, professional groups, networking groups and the list could go one and on

Talk to others in your field who have started their own business.  Call, make an appointment for an interview, be prepared with your questions ahead of time.  They were once you are now, so they are an excellent source of information.

Who are the people who can help you with your planning process?   Maybe you are only able to get your notes down but not in an articulate way?  Do you know someone who can help?  If not, hire someone to polish your plan?  Have your partner look at it first.  I’ve talked about it before, but Elance is a great website for hiring someone to create your plan for you.  Depending on how much work you’ve done will determine the cost.

Don’t try to do it alone – a support system (even if they don’t help with the writing is still essential)!!

Tomorrow we will start getting in to the nitty gritty of it all – generating ideas that will be the basis for your plan 🙂

Sara

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