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6 Quick Tips for Your Growing Business

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Every small business owner dreams big. What starts as a tiny idea and a basement pop-up shop has high hopes for one day becoming a huge factory outputting 10,000 units a day. Or perhaps your home kitchen cupcake shop turns into franchises all over the country. Whatever business you find yourself in, you dream of growth. Big growth. But what happens when that day suddenly approaches? When and how do you take the next big step? Check out these 6 quick tips for your growing business and make sure you don’t become your own stumbling block by rushing and not following your due paces as your business expands.

1. Plan. Don’t Rush. Be Patient. The excitement of growth can cause us to make hasty decisions. When the opportunity to grow appears, we want to leap right there and achieve the dream overnight. If you do not diligently outline your business growth plan and the specific parameters and timeline associated with its completion, you can find yourself spending more money than you have and stuck in poor decisions that sufficed short term but lacked long term vision. Take your time. Discuss every possibility. Communicate and commit to writing your 5, 10 and 15 year goals. Take your time to thoughtfully consider all short and long term implications for any decisions that you make.

2. Manage Your Money. Meet with a Financial Advisor. An extension of Rule #1, it’s time to outline your finances in minute detail. Make sure you have a crystal clear understanding of your finances, including cash flow, debt and the potential short and long term impact of any big money moves. Create a detailed financial plan to achieve your business growth without putting you out of business. The last place you want to be is in a larger facility with more debt and no cash. Take your time to plan and use cash wisely, consider creative ways to invest and fund your prospective growth and have a professional provide insight for all big decisions. You are in business for the long term, you need to manage your money like you believe that.

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3. Utilize Your Resources. A further extension to Rules #1 and #2 is to consult legal counsel. Whether you’re signing a new lease, purchasing a property or remodeling an existing site, be sure to understand the liabilities and legal responsibility those decision entail. Have all contract agreements reviewed in detail and allow your lawyer to manage risk intelligently with your best interests in mind. Excitement can push someone to sign on the dotted line without reading the fine print. Simply put, that can be the kiss of death to any business. Take your time and make sure you, your family, your clients and ultimately, your business are well protected and legally sound.

4. Transition Deliberately. A move of any kind can cause a rupture in communication with your client. Even when the change on the horizon is mutually beneficial, people can oppose change and experience discomfort during the transition. Thoughtfully consider whether your business growth will cause any outages, delays to service or other adjustments to your usual workflow. Communicate with your client base so that they know what to expect and in what time frame. Acknowledge their importance by going above and beyond for any clients who might experience a bit of growing pains along with you. Whether you offer a “thanks for your patience” discount or simply take the time to pick up the phone or take them to lunch, let your clients know that the changes coming will help you to serve them better. Thank them for providing the opportunity for your business to grow.

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5. Stick to the Plan. Hold yourself accountable. Better yet, nominate someone else to hold you accountable. Once you have a detailed written plan of action, stick with it. You made that plan after doing your homework, consulting the pros and seriously considering exactly what future you are moving towards. That plan wasn’t created on a whim…it was purposeful and designed for efficiency, effectiveness and ultimately, long term success. Don’t let your heart get the better of you by straying at a moment’s notice because you’ve just “gotta have it now!” Treat that plan like law. That’s not to say it won’t be tweaked here and there, but the fundamental foundation should remain in tact and you should be committed to staying the course.

6. Celebrate! The fun part! You’re about to accomplish something exceptional! All of that hard work, blood, sweat and tears are finally paying off. It’s an exciting, scary, exhilarating time for you. Take a moment to relish this part of your journey. It’s ok to pat yourself on the back and say “I did it!” Let your client base celebrate with you. You’re extending them new services, better quality, more attention and availability…this business growth is for them! And because of them. Create anticipation for your new grand opening. Set up an open house, share sneak peeks on social media. Help everyone hop on the thrill ride as you take the next professional leap.

If you keep these quick tips to business growth handy and refer back to them throughout your expansion process, you’ll be able to gut check your decisions and intentions. Ask yourself if you’ve fulfilled each point or if you’ve cut corners anywhere and left yourself exposed. Use it as a marker to remind yourself what you committed to when you decided to take the next big step. These quick tips to business growth won’t steer you wrong. Congratulations on a worthy accomplishment! We can’t wait to see you continue to grow in the years to come!

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Organizational Tips

24 Super Awesome Articles for Busy Working Moms

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24 Super Awesome Articles

You may have noticed a bit of feast or famine over here at Chaos & Kiddos. Why? Because we’ve been sharing the love all over! Yup, that’s right. When we’re not here actively posting, it’s usually because we have the great honor to share our voice on other platforms. We thought you might like to keep up with where we’ve been! So…check out these 24 super awesome articles for busy working moms. Enjoy!

Parenting

Need a little parenting pick me up? Look no further! Grab a cup of coffee and kick back for a good read. Pick up a few tips and tricks, and give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re doing an AWESOME job.

Am I Chipping Away at the Foundation of My Children’s Success?

Why You Need a Family Mission Statement

Want to Teach Children? Get a Family Pet

10 Tips to Get Better Photos of Your Children

Potty Training: How to Graduate from Rewards to Real Life

It Takes a Village: Today’s Isolated Mom

Working Moms

Tell the truth…We bet you’re working too hard! It’s ok. We all do. Let’s band together and give ourselves permission for a little TLC, a whole lot more community and the opportunity to thrive professionally and personally, being our best selves for those we love most.

Working Moms Get a “Free to Grow” Permission Slip from Sprout

The One Question You Should Be Asking Yourself Every Day

How I Finally Realized Being a Workaholic Wasn’t a Good Thing

Redefining Success as a Suddenly Single Working Mom

How to Combat the Working Mom Woes

Professional Opportunities for The Stay-at-Home Mom

Tips for the Working Mom: How to Excel in Both Worlds

Small Business

Our very favorite!! Sharing the tips and tricks to help your business grow, the creative ideas that are making big waves in the entrepreneurial and those little reminders that get you back on track as a motivated, focused small business owner.

Meet the U.S. Company that Beat France to the Email Ban Idea

How to Maintain a Healthy Business Partnership

The Evolution of the Social Media Management Model

With This Tweet, I Thee Wed: How to “Put a Ring on It” and Transform Your Followers Into Brand Advocates

Why I Left Corporate America

Get More Instagram Followers and Grow Your Business

The Fountain of Youth: A Childhood Lesson in Healthy Competition

The Enlightened Entrepreneur: The Best Ways to Achieve Real Success

Health and Wellness

Last, but certainly not least, the most important part. Staying healthy and being well. The journey towards balance is just that…a journey. Join us as we walk together towards a more meaningful, enriched life.

Why You Need to Renegotiate the Contracts in Your Life

Baby Steps to Balance: The Journey Towards a Better Life Begins With Your Very First Step

The Top 10 Cheerleaders You Need to Survive Your Divorce

How to Set Boundaries That Balance Your Life


Do you have any super awesome articles for busy working moms? Share them below in the comments! Let’s face it, time is a hot commodity around here, and most of us don’t have time to blog hop! So…if you’ve done us the great honor by taking time out of your busy day to stop here, then THANK YOU! From the bottom of our hearts. And if you have a resource to share, please do so! Any opportunity we have to connect a resource with a need, whether it’s our information or not, is a big win for us, and for YOU!

And that’s why we’re here. For you. XOXO

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Small Business Resources

How to Level Up and Embrace Your Future as a Small Business Owner with @Spera_io

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If you’re anything like me, the leap into small business ownership was more like a series of fluttering attempts, a few hiccups and hops, and then a timid jump…when I finally “felt ready.” Truth be told, it took a lot longer than it needed to, in part because of my fear and hesitation, which held me back much longer than it should have. Admittedly, there was also a big gap in my professional presentation as a business owner, which sent mixed messages to my clients, and quite frankly, to me. At some point, I had to face the music, level up as a freelancer and embrace my future as a small business owner. It was time to be the real deal.

What does that mean exactly? Well, first, we’re talking about shift in mindset.

Do you remember when you first stepped out on your own? Maybe you were like me, timidly taking on a private “side job,” which I communicated over email, with no contract or business license. I was just working a quick hustle for some extra cash, which came however they wanted it to, whenever they wanted it to. A check here, cash there, PayPal over here…before the job, during the job, after the job. There was no rhyme or reason, no method to my madness.

Did I make those choices because I was a sloppy copy writer or because I didn’t value my clients or their experience? No. Most of those choices were made because I didn’t value myself. I was “just a freelancer” and didn’t believe that I was capable of wearing the title of “business owner.” So I didn’t take the time or energy to put the systems in place that really allowed me to take ownership of my professional path. Yes, my clients were happy. I was happy. But my growth quickly plateaued. I pigeon holed myself as a side hustle instead of cultivating my reputation as an entrepreneur.

What would I have done differently?

  • Take it seriously. I should have immediately applied for a business license, making sure I had all of the proper certifications in place. My next stop should have been a lawyer, where I would have created top notch contracts that set the standard for relationships grounded in excellence and professionalism.
  • Get organized. I should have clearly defined my products and services, pricing and payment terms. A well-developed workflow with appropriate systems in place would have set expectations on my time and my daily routine, which would have saved me the stress and chaos of trying to meet unrealistic deadlines while phoning it in as a mom.
  • Communicate effectively. Without the appropriate systems in place, my communication with my clients and my team suffered. Projects fell through the cracks, invoices didn’t get paid – in short, I set myself and everyone around me up for failure, because I didn’t have a grasp on the business that was growing with or without my belief in myself as the owner.

How can you avoid making the same mistakes that I did?

Fix it. Today! The buck stops here. The very first thing you need to do is take a good long look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me. “I am a business owner. This is my business and I am responsible for the decisions that will make or break it. I am capable, talented and driven. It’s time to stop dancing around my fears and make it happen. Go get it done. I can do this.” 

Next step is to tackle the three areas I mentioned above. Where? How? Why?

The great news…we have a whole slew of programs available to choose from when it comes to implementing the procedures, reporting metrics and systems that will help us thrive as entrepreneurs.

The bad news…we have a whole slew of programs available to choose from when it comes to implementing the procedures, reporting metrics and systems that will help us thrive as entrepreneurs.

I want to help you drive towards the most powerful tool that can level up your business with ease, efficiency and most importantly, clarity and purpose as THE owner (that’s you!). Say hello to my friends at Spera!

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It’s time for a list. These are a few of my favorite things!

  • Spera was created by independent contractors for independent contractors. That’s right! They went straight to the source – people just like you! How does it feel when you invest in something only to utilize 10% of it? Bad! Spera took the time to ask the right questions to the right people, and then, they acted on it, developing a platform that has what you need, when you need it, where you need it. How does it feel to invest in something that is 100% designed just for you? It feels pretty darn amazing.
  • Spera is an all-in-one virtual office. And that’s what you need as a business owner. An office! Many small business owners fail to implement the proper systems because they are frustrated by having to hop from tool to tool to tool. That’s like setting up your office but then having to go to the kitchen to grab your invoices, to the bathroom to print your contracts and to the garage to meet your clients. Now, you have one place where you can manage your client experience from start to finish.
    • Functional Task Management – Communicate with your team and your clients, set expectations on your time and make sure projects never fall through the cracks again.
    • Customizable Invoices – Professional invoices that present your expertise and your brand with excellence, letting your clients know that you mean business!
    • Secure Payment Portals – Track incoming payments, pay invoices, send/receive money and give your clients a simple one-click option directly in their invoice. No more chasing checks.
  • Spera offers a FREE complete 30 day trial. That’s right…an all access pass for an entire month. If you’re still hesitant about claiming your power and position as a small business owner, that’s ok. You can ease your way into it and give it a try! Once you access the possibility of life as an organized, professional business owner, you’ll crash through the door of opportunity and wonder…why in the world didn’t I do this sooner?
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Small Business Resources

Love Conquers All, Especially in Marketing Communications

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love conquers all feature

As working moms, we all stumble across communication of some kind in our respective professional arenas. Whether we’re on the marketing team, developing copy for email drop campaigns or editorial calendars, in the sales fray pitching clients to close a new deal or simply cultivating team dynamics by presenting ideas and strategies in relatable language…we all have to express ourselves in written form at some point in our careers.

You might overlook this book if you came across it online or think it irrelevant to your particular job since you don’t officially where the “writer” hat. You’d be wrong! There are a million tidbits and gems hiding in this book that can be applied to any form of communication today. Embrace the “love conquers all” mentality and try something new – see how your clients, customers and team members respond – you’ll quickly see that the service, not sales approach is really grounded in one simple word. Love.

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Here’s some background on the author of my most recent and favorite read, along with some awesome tips and tricks straight from her book –

Michele Pariza Wacek (Michele PW, for short) has a simple and infectious message for business people. It’s love, not money, that makes the world go ‘round. Love conquers all, right?

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She is a marketing strategist who began writing professionally in 1992, working at agencies and on staff as a marketing/communication/writing specialist. In 1998 she started her business as a freelance copywriter. In 2006 she opened her own company Michele PW/Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC and is the author of two books, “Love-Based Copywriting — How to Write Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites Your Ideal Prospects to Become Ideal Clients” and the “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites”.

“Pain is a part of life. It is the body’s way of saying, ‘Hey, something is wrong.’ It is meant to prompt us to make a change. Suffering, on the other hand, is a real turn off,” Michele says. “Even if it works for you it doesn’t feel good using it. Love-based copywriting gains trust and inspires personal respect from the very first word, and enhances the perceived value of what is offered in ways that enhance and develop effective relationships with people”.

Snip20151008_6Here are some of the many ways she recommends to market and sell products and services with love, not fear.

Love-Based Tip #1: Don’t Exaggerate

Although exaggerations can come in all shapes and sizes, headlines seem to be more of an “exaggeration magnet.” This is usually because you only have a few words to not only get a lot of points across, but to also get people to sit up and take notice. But you fail if you use phrases that raise people’s BS antennas.

Instead use strong verbs and nouns that paint a picture without going overboard into exaggeration. If you’re not sure if you’re exaggerating or not, then you probably are. You’ll feel it in your gut if you’ve gone too far, so just listen to it.

Love-Based Tips #2: Write a Powerful Beginning

Much like headlines, exaggeration is a problem in the beginning of your copy too. Painting a picture that’s too dark is a good way to tip the overall feeling of your copy right into the realm of fear-based arm-twisting.

Instead, be honest and be objective. Don’t make people feel any worse than they already feel. Anticipate the reactions to the words. Aim at creating a new sense of comfort and relief. Connect with people without agitating their pain. Use the words people actually use and they will recognize you are talking directly to them.  Don’t “dress it up”.

Love-Based Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Vulnerable

It may feel really scary to show your vulnerable side, but the truth is, many times your vulnerability is what will seal the deal — not your credibility. People need to believe you’re an expert in your field, but if you’re too much of an expert, people will feel like you can’t relate to what they’re going through. And if you can’t relate, you can’t help them.

Your vulnerability is what makes you relatable. It makes you human. People can see themselves in you. And that’s what helps them believe that, if you’re just like them and can do it, then they will conclude they can do it too.

Love-Based Tip #4:  Stick With What Works

As you work on coming up with your big picture overview, you’ll find yourself wanting to use some sort of new vocabulary to sum up what your ideal client is going through. Resist this temptation. Don’t feel the need to distill everyone’s experiences into some cute, clever, marketing speak elevator pitch/slogan you can spit out at networking meetings.  If you succumb to this, don’t be surprised when people suddenly go away to go refill their drinks.

Part of being love-based is being simple — just say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t dress it up or make it cute and clever (and whatever you do, don’t twist it and use it as a weapon against your ideal clients). Be clear, concise, open, and respectful … and everyone wins.

Love-Based Tip #5: Amplify Emotions, Not Pain

Amplifying the emotion in your message can be extremely powerful, but amplifying the pain can push your copy into fear-based marketing. To avoid going overboard, be gentle and be kind. Don’t use shame, guilt or blame. Use both techniques – amplify and resolve – in the same breadth.  Gently amplify the pain, and then immediately resolve it before the end of the sentence, so the overall feeling you leave your ideal prospects with is that of moving toward pleasure.

Love-Based Tip #6: Make Peace with Money

Don’t grapple with money. Own the value of whatever you are charging. Be comfortable with whatever price you are charging for whatever product or service you’re selling. If you’re uncomfortable with the price you are asking — people will immediately sense it. And they won’t buy. Know the value. Set your price to reflect the value. Once you know that value, then you just need to make sure you are good with it.

Love-Based Tip #7: Give People a Safe Space to Make a Decision

You can write love-based copy around objections by creating a safe space for people to feel their objections. This is a place where they can figure out if they are truly ready for change. Once they do, they can then make a comfortable decision – either yes or no. Don’t believe that what matters is getting the sale above all else. Don’t push them or twist their arm.

Instead, give people the time, space and the information they need to make up their own mind about what they truly want and what’s best for them. Create a compelling buying environment that brings people to that crucial pause where they see what they need and that you can meet their needs.

Love-Based Tip #8: Watch the Hype in Your Testimonials

Stay away from exaggeration and hype, especially in your testimonials. If you slip in too much hype, folks will have trouble either believing the testimonial at all, or believing they can get the same results. Stay with simple clear, provable statements from people that relate to your prospective clients.

If you’re an entrepreneur, small-business owner, or soloprenuer, love-based copywriting can actually make marketing fun rather than something to dread.

How can you apply the “love conquers all” mentality in your workplace? How will you engage your audience differently? How are you moving away from sales and moving towards service in your business?

 

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