Stop Running Your Business Like A Hobby

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I am very lucky to work with a lot of different businesses and creative people. I have seen some take an idea and turn it into multi-million dollar businesses. One thing I have noticed about those that don't succeed is that they treat their business as a hobby vs. an actual business.

Now before we get into it, I want to point out that I hate writing a blog that seems negative. That's not what I'm doing here. I'm pointing out things that I want you to ask yourself before you start the process of starting a business. I know you can do it, but want you to ask yourself some questions so you're prepared. 

Below you will find some of my observations when I see a new business or business owner not progressing or succeeding.

  1. They aren't hungry enough. The hunger isn't there. Sometimes I question their true passion for their business and if they really are in love with it or they are just going through the motions hoping it's going to pay off. Whatever it is, they aren't hungry enough. 
  2. They are bored and needed something to pass time away vs. really wanting to create something magical and special. Wasting time and doing busy work is never gonna make a business succeed. 
  3. They don't bother to do research nor have a willingness to learn. They think they know it all already and have all the answers. First, do your research on what you're selling. Where is the need or want for your service or product? Who are you selling to, etc? I've been doing my business now for years and I still am learning every day. I don't have all the answers and I'm always researching and learning what I don't know or to improve on what I do know. I'll throw in the "ask for help" here too. Ask for help from like-minded professionals to get things going or to give input on your idea or processes. You would be shocked at what your own circle of friends and professionals can assist you with. Don't be a show-off and pretend you know it all or already have it together. You're not fooling anyone, we know it's hard.
  4. It involves time. Some just don't want to put in the time it takes. Starting, running and owning a business is a major time commitment. Success will never come knocking at the door. You have to put in the time to get results. In the early stages of your business, you may find that you're spending more time on your business than anything else you do in your life. 
  5. Money is required! I know I know, there are a lot of things out there about not needing a boatload of money to start a business. That can be true. But the reality is that you need some money. In today's world, you need some dough! That will all depend on what you're doing, what you're selling and what your business is. You will need some cash of some sort. 
  6. Failure isn't the end of the world. You will fail. There I said it. Feel better now. Move on. Dust yourself off and keep at it. 
  7. No real plan. There are some people that start with no real plan or objective. Sometimes you're thrown into business vs. planning, plotting and starting. That's some of the best kind of businesses that I love to work with, but you still need to stop, backup and create an overall plan. This plan should be what you need, costs, execution and what your goals are, financially and other. Business plans are great, and I have assisted many businesses, but honestly, you just need something written down on paper with all those objectives. How and in what format works for you is fine. Just do it. 
  8. Realistic expectations and goals. I see this so much in new businesses. Their friends and family tell them how awesome they are, their product or service and then when they try to sell it, in the beginning, it can be a big goose egg. Set realistic goals, financially, marketing and overall progress. This really involves 1-6 and then once you have decided on how you will adjust to those you can create your realistic goals. 

Now you know! Let's talk about these together. I would love to hear how you have overcome any of these or how you have pushed through. Share with us so others can learn! 

Knock Knock Opportunities

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These past few months, since the new year actually, has been crazy busy. I can't complain, it's all wonderful stuff, but boy do I see a need for helping businesses grow and succeed even more than ever. 

Let's first get you through the goings ons around HoM Consulting. We have grown more than 100% in the last 6 months and I'm so excited about that. I'm excited that I have brought on new team members that include writers, developers and even a right hand in day to day that keeps things going and everyone on track. 

We've reorganized our financial platforms, updated our website and introduced so many new tools and platforms that we can now offer our clients. It was a lot of work, but it all needed to be done to make sure we are set up to succeed as we grow. I get first row seats to businesses growing and not being equipped for it and things take a turn. I wanted to make sure I had a grip on every detail with our growth.

Not only are there exciting things happening with HoM Consulting, but I have also started my first Networking Group, a franchise, called Fuck Up Nights. I'm ecstatic about the premise of this group and really believe that we can learn a lot from each other's failures. Look for our first event happening at the end of May.  We are in search of some amazing speakers, so if you're interested, fill out our Google Doc to have an opportunity to share your story.

I'll be traveling a lot in the next few months, first stop Vegas where the artisitic director of my  Troupe will be competing at a national event, Viva Las Vegas. I'll be joining her and cheering her on. From there we drive to Big Bear and Los Angeles, California. I have a lot of business meetings setup but plan on getting in some fun time with my family as they are all flying out to enjoy a house on the lake in Big Bear. 

I'm back in PA for a week to turn around and then fly out to Nice, France where I'll be spending 10 days in Cannes for the Cannes Film Festival 2018. I will be assisting with a few events and more meetings and connections being formed. 

So you're saying, what's the point to any of this? I made a promise to myself going into this year that I would not turn down opportunities presented to me. This is exactly what I'm doing. I've found that in the past I've turned so many opportunities down because I thought I was too busy or just lame excuses altogether. I have asked myself why? Most of the time it made no sense and I would regret it after the fact. 2018 I made myself two goals, jump on opportunities presented and make the most out of them. 

I now look at the opportunity presented to me and see how I can make this valuable. This value doesn't have to be something business related at all or even bring in money or success in business. There are even more personal aspects to these opportunities than there ever has been. I spent my life tending to people, I was a mom at an early age and married twice. Now it's time to begin to fulfill some of my own personal wants and needs in life. 

Ok, why am I sharing this? I do think that this was a big piece missing from me, being able to be the best businesswoman and partner with businesses. I feel much more rounded out in my perspectives and in my wants and needs. Bottom line, I'm ready to take on the world, one, two or three opportunities at a time! I suggest you do the same. Look at those opportunities that present themselves and see how you can make them work without all the excuses you may tell yourself. 

Don’t Waste Your Time On Unproductive Meetings

Time is so precious when you’re an entrepreneur and business owner. The day can slip right by and before you know it your to do list has no check marks on it. The frustration and feeling of overwhelm settle in real fast! One of the biggest problems I see with business owners is they do not know how to effectively run a meeting or even worse, get value out of the meeting itself. I’ve put together some tips that I think you’ll find useful in helping you with meeting time management.

Here are your tips:

  1. Don’t take a meeting just to be nice. I know I know, we all want to be liked and hear everyone out. Know that it’s ok to say NO. If you’re already behind on things and someone wants to meet with you on something not relevant to the immediate moment it’s ok to not take the meeting. Even more importantly, if you know you’re not interested in what someone has to offer, move on. It’s always good to hear options and opinions of others but be mindful of where your time is actually going.
  2. Set an Agenda. This is so simple and I do it all the time. This doesn’t have to be some major power point presentation. Jot down some bullet points that you want to be sure you accomplish. We’ve all gone to a meeting and someone over takes the meeting with what they want to accomplish and you forget what you wanted to say or ask. We’ve all been there and done it. Write down the topics that you want to get answers for or discuss. If you know that the person you’re meeting with needs some guidance, by all means, share your agenda with them. You would be surprised at how they come more prepared. Nothing like asking a bunch of questions and they say, “I’ll look into it and get back to you”. What’s the point of the meeting if you’re not getting answers. Share the agenda and have them begin formulating answers or what your needs are before the meeting.
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    Are the somebodies in the room? You will want to make sure that the right people are in the room when you have your meeting. The people that are important to the subject and can add value to it. Also, look around in your meetings and find out who is in meetings that maybe shouldn’t be. Maybe their time could be used elsewhere within your organization. I like to have a meeting sometimes with one or two people before I bring all parties involved. Knowing that the meeting can get derailed or off track with so many bodies in the room.

  4. Reel ‘em in. If you have someone that is getting off topic (we all know who that is) it’s ok to say, “Let’s shelve that topic for next week” or “Let’s talk about that another time, we really have a lot already on the agenda today”. People may feel butt hurt, but you’re there to accomplish something, do it.
  5. DON’T BE LATE. Start the meeting on the agreed upon time. A few minutes of small talk is ok, but keep it brief. Also, n my corporate days I was known to have an 8-minute rule. After 8 minutes I leave or hang up (if it’s a conference call). It actually became a joke with some clients and they would say “I just made it, it wasn’t 8 minutes yet was it?” But they knew. Your time is valuable! This sets a culture that’s going to make all your meetings much more successful.
  6. Make them long enough to accomplish what you came to do. Nothing like sitting in a meeting for hours only to not accomplish much. I always say if a meeting is scheduled for an hour I shoot for 40 minutes. The 20 minutes is the buffer. Be aware that some people can’t be productive after a 2-hour span. I try to keep my one on ones under 2 hours, anything longer you start losing people.
  7. Know who’s on first. When the meeting is done review all the agenda items and make sure you have a clear outline of who is handling what or what next steps need to be taken. I always love following the meeting up with an outline of this to the parties involved. I use to have one person dedicated to being a note taker at each meeting (this would alter to different people each meeting) and they would be responsible for the Post Mortem notes to everyone. It’s very effective and allows for simple and easy follow up by everyone involved.

I went back and read my tips above and I sound like a complete hard ass, but I am. I want to make sure that time is being used appropriately and that something is getting done. You’re here to run a business and nothing like wasting your valuable time. Hope these help. Tell me what you do to make your meetings run without a hitch?