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Episode 15: Outsourced Bookkeeping with Dan Luthi


On today’s episode, my guest is Dan Luthi, COO of Ignite Spot Outsourced Accounting. We discuss the importance of keeping your business’ finances in order, focusing on the particular needs and struggles small businesses have faced this year. Dan shares his insights about what business owners should consider when choosing an accounting company—though much of his advice about researching a company’s practices, expertise, and security can apply to hiring any company to do business with you.

We cover much more in this 45-minute conversation, and it’s essential listening for any business owner, so I am incredibly thankful that Dan joined me today to share his expertise. See below for links on contacting Dan or myself for more information.

Connect with Dan:
Ignite Spot Outsourced Accounting

Find me on my website and social media:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:
https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 14: Strategic Planning


In this episode, I wanted to share some information that MWBEs should keep in mind about strategic planning over the remainder of 2020 and leading into 2021. I didn’t want to leave anything out, so there is a lot to cover here, which I break down into the following sections:

  1. Financial Planning
  2. Business Model
  3. Vision
  4. Team
  5. Professional Development
  6. Diversity & Inclusion
  7. Technology
  8. Pipeline
  9. Marketing
  10. Sales

Find me on my website and social media:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:
https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 13: Top Tips for Running a Successful Business


Just because how we do business today is different from a year ago doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still strive to be successful—it’s just that the way we get there is different. In this episode, I share my top tips for running a successful business and adapting to our changing world.

  • Prioritize your health and well-being.
  • Figuring out why you’re here and what your purpose is.
  • Vote with your conscience, and take a stand for what matters to you.
  • Identify your ideal clients, and check in to make sure you’re still serving existing clients appropriately.
  • Don’t stop marketing: it represents the promise you’re making to current and potential customers, so find a way to consistently get your message out there.
  • Deliver excellence, from small things like spell checking emails and returning calls on time, these things all contribute to answering the question, “Are you showing up as excellent”?
  • Nurture your network, as your closest connections—clients, family, accountability partners, etc.—are a powerful asset.
  • Stay on the leading edge of your industry by investing in continuous learning and strengthening your professional development.
  • Leverage technology wherever you can to help you adapt. Whether it’s for scheduling, project management, or for cost savings, it pays to know what technology and apps are on the market and how they can benefit your business.

Find me on my website and social media:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:
https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 12: Procurement Readiness


Today I’ll be talking to you about procurement readiness. Many small businesses—especially those dealing with the government— may be in a slow period right now, which is an optimal time to make sure you and your business are in a good place to move forward and adapt as needed.

Procurement readiness covers a lot of ground, and one of the critical aspects of preparation is to run a diagnostic on your business. By this, I mean checking your finances and lenders and re-evaluating all those small recurring costs, such as your memberships and subscriptions. Ask yourself if these services are essential for—and adding value to—your business.

There are plenty of other aspects to consider for readiness, such as assessing your team for productivity and efficiency and ensuring operational policies and procedures are in place. It’s a prime time to update your forecast and growth plan and look for ways to strengthen your business, such as by aligning with other small businesses for support.

Finally, I’ll cover several remaining vital aspects of procurement readiness: Strategy, efficient communication, keeping an eye on your tax filings, accountability, and investing in key areas for your business, such as equipment, technology, or training. I hope you find this show helpful, so please reach out and let me know if you have any questions.

Find me on my website and social media:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:
https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 11: Identifying and Managing Secondary Traumatic Stress with Taryn Hughes


This week my guest is Taryn Hughes, a certified Compassion Fatigue Therapist (CFT) and CEO of Forest Hughes & Associates. We have a lengthy conversation about Secondary Traumatic Stress and Compassion Fatigue and the challenges that business owners and individuals are experiencing in the current climate.

Taryn explains signs to look for to identify if you or those around you are experiencing forms of Secondary Traumatic Stress. These signs include common symptoms and behavior changes, its effects on workflow, interpersonal relationships, and how it impacts people at work and at home.

She also shares her expertise in dealing with stress, from small tips to high-level advice on connecting with others as we all work through this monumentally stressful time together. We hope you glean some useful information from this show, and you can learn more about Taryn and her company Forest Hughes & Associates, via the links below.

Connect with Taryn & Resources:

Find me on my website and social media:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:
https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 10: Tips on Conducting a Productive Virtual Meeting


By now, most of us have adjusted to having or attending virtual meetings, but not all meetings are equal in terms of efficiency. Today I will talk about standards, best practices, and guidelines for virtual meetings – including deciding whether a meeting is even the right decision for a given discussion.

My guidance covers eight main areas:

1 – Platform and training: There are several products for virtual meetings out there besides Zoom. When you’re the one hosting a meeting, it’s up to you to research the best options for your team, in terms of ease of use, security, and more. Once you make your choice, communicate this decision to your organization. Be sure to train your teams on the product so everyone can work efficiently. Create use policies and training materials, so expectations are clear.

2 – Learn to say no if needed: It’s become common for “Let’s have a Zoom meeting on this” to be people’s first thought, but there’s only so much time in the day. Just like you would weigh the need for a meeting in person, think about the outcome of meetings before immediately saying yes.

3 – Audit your tech: Look at the technology you’re using for meetings. Is your internet connection still sufficient, now that you rely on it more than ever? Is your PC up for the additional virtual tasks you need it to be? Look at what you have and upgrade your hardware if it would improve your ability to connect with team members and clients.

4 – Decide when a meeting is needed: Similar to #2, we’ve quickly learned that a virtual meeting isn’t always required. When the meeting is with a large group within your team or with clients, it’s usually helpful for people to see each other, and a virtual meeting is the most efficient. But if a decision can be reached with a short phone call or email, you’ll save everyone time by opting out of a meeting.

5 – Have a plan: Knowing exactly what a meeting will be about going in is best for everyone. Create an agenda that includes who will be attending, plus the goals, purpose, and structure of the meeting, and send it to everyone in advance.

6 – Learn screen sharing best practices: Screen sharing is helpful, but it can slow down a meeting if not used correctly. Make sure anyone who plans to share their screen closes unnecessary apps, disables notifications, and is ready to present the moment the share begins. But even before that, decide if screen sharing is even needed. Can these materials be shared in advance instead? Knowing when to use screen sharing properly will make for more productive meetings.

7 – Socializing still matters: Virtual meetings aren’t only for doing business. Especially if your team members are used to seeing each other in person, having the option to socialize with each other is very important for team morale. Whether this means hosting virtual happy hours, sharing stories, or introducing people to a new pet, giving people this outlet is good for everyone.

8 – Take notes: Finally, you want to make sure everyone leaves the meeting with a clear understanding of the outcome. Whether you take them yourself or delegate to an assistant or other meeting attendee, well-written notes of action items should be distributed to attendees after the meeting concludes.

Find me on my website and social media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:

https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 9: Selling to the Government


In this episode, I cover some critical steps to get you started selling your services to the government. The process begins by understanding that city, state, and the federal government release procurement forecasts, an annual list of what they’re buying and planning to spend for the coming year. Educating yourself about what the government is planning to spend and on what is vital knowledge.

I’ll touch on six main steps of making sure your business is ready to offer services to the government:

Step 1 – Be clear on what goods and services the government is buying.

Step 2 – Housekeeping: Learn the rules of engagement, which websites you will need to register on, and generally make sure you meet the criteria for doing business.

Step 3 – Learn how the government does business (examples included).

Step 4 – What happens when you connect to clients and the need for follow-up strategies.

Step 5 – Finding new ways to communicate your message and offerings.

Step 6 – Once you know your audience, have a strategy to reach your goals, such as adapting your sales style to meet current conditions, such as more visual marketing, use of technology, and more.

Find me on my website and social media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:

https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 8: Running a Small Business with Mildred Tolentino


My guest in this episode is Mildred Tolentino, President and CEO of MTO-PROS, a construction management company in New York. We discussed several topics, from tactics on adapting to COVID-19’s effects on our businesses, finding opportunities, and more. We briefly touch on the importance of identifying as professionals, and not limiting ourselves by presenting as “just” MWBEs. Finally, Mildred imparts some knowledge from her experience with PWC (Professional Women in Construction).

Links for this episode:

Find me on my website and social media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:

https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 7: Managing Your Business and Finances with Lynn Karam


My guest in this episode is Lynn Karam, founder of LEK Management. Lynn shares what she has learned during her many years in business about getting certified and what expectations that small business owners have with the process. We go on to discuss business owners’ fear of looking into finances, ideal goals, and how to go about finding the right people to help you financially plan around startup costs, this year’s tax season, and more. Lynn and I also chat about the habits of our most successful clients, and what all MWBEs can learn from them.

Connect with Lynn:

Find me on my website and social media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:

https://www.free-stock-music.com



Episode 6: Discovering the Management Team You Need


In this episode, I discuss the importance of finding the right management for your organization and reveal some facets of that process that I had to learn through trial and error. As it turns out, you need to discover more about yourself and what you need in a manager if you’re to find the right people to lead the rest of your team.

At the end of June, I will be launching a new DiSC training initiative to help MWBEs in this process. Because of the nature of this training, I will be limiting attendance to a small group of no more than 10-14 people, so if you are interested in taking part, please contact me! During this training, you will learn techniques to assess yourself and your needs, create a motivating environment, and much more.

 

Find me on my website and social media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Music courtesy of:

https://www.free-stock-music.com