Note from Susan
March 10, 2012
Lots of great questions came in from our readers this month, including:
Quick business plan: Amber wants to know the quickest, easiest way to make a business plan.
Too much business:
Cindy is overwhelmed with all the business coming at her and is wondering how to turn down work without alienating customers.International business:
Kayla wants advice about expanding her business
into the international sector.
Coach's scheduling conflicts:
Jonesha wants to know how to best deal with her clients when scheduling conflicts
I answered the last two questions over at my blog, Discovering Your Inner Samurai. The others I answered in the “Dear Inner Samurai” section below.
Do you have a business question you'd like me to answer in our next "Dear Inner Samurai" issue? Submit your question here.
Keep your questions coming and your business growing!
And remember . . .
Success is assured.
All is well.
P.S.: Let's connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Talk to you soon!
Dear Inner Samurai
Q #1: Dear Inner Samurai,
What's the quickest, easiest way to build a business plan?
A: Dear Amber,
Good question to ask!
By far, the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to get a business plan together is by doing a One Page Business Plan.
Created by my friend Jim Horan, The One Page Business Plan comes in various versions, depending on your specific business needs. The one I use with my clients is The One Page Business Plan for Women in Business.
This book, co-authored with Tamara Monosoff, is for women just starting up businesses as well as for women entrepreneurs with well-established businesses, both large and small. It includes a desktop planning CD along with templates, sample plans, sales calculators, scorecards and other helpful tools.
If you have some experience with writing business plans, this book is easy enough for you to work through on your own.
However, if this is your first attempt at writing a business plan, or, if you're planning to show it to investors and banks to secure funding, then I recommend working through The One Page Business Plan for Women in Business with a certified One Page Business Plan specialist.
I am one such specialist and would be glad to assist you in writing your business plan.
In fact, I just finished writing a One Page Business Plan for celebrity entrepreneur Petra Nemcova. You can read what she has to say about her experience on the home page of my website. (When you get there, just scroll down to the client review section).
And if you'd like more information about The One Page Business Plan that Petra and other clients have used, you can read about it here.
Q #2: Dear Inner Samurai,
I’m in an enviable position. I am now at the point in my business where I can't handle all the business coming at me. Help! What do I do? I’m not ready for business expansion, so how do I turn down the work without alienating potential customers?
A: Dear Cindy,
Congratulations! You must be doing something right. Many business owners would give their eye teeth to be in your shoes.
Although most business owners want to keep as much business flowing their way as possible, it can sometimes be overwhelming when more work comes in than can be easily handled. If this were just a once-in-awhile occurrence, I would say hire some temporary or seasonal staff to help out. If, however, this is a long-term situation and you aren’t quite ready to expand, then it’s important to turn down work in such a way that it actually strengthens your relationship with the customer you’re turning down.
Here are some suggestions:
• Express regret for not being able to take on the additional business at this time.
Let the customer know how much, under normal circumstances, you would enjoy working with them and that you would really like to have another opportunity to do so once your schedule frees up. You might even provide a date when this might be (e.g., "I am currently working on a big project. However, I should be finished with it in 3 weeks. If you have some flexibility, perhaps we can reschedule for around that time.").
• Avoid taking the "full bucket" view (i.e., once the bucket is full, no additional water can be added).
What if you could drain some of the existing water out of the bottom of the bucket and replace it with some fresh, high quality water? In other words, mull over carefully if this is truly a customer you want to turn down. How about taking a sharp look at your total customer list to see how many place regular orders and how many are sporadic. Instead of waiting in hopes of the sporadic customer placing an order, perhaps this new customer is exactly the type you have wanted to attract! If so, make room.
• Refer them to another trusted and qualified business.
Tip: When turning down work, treat your customer with the same level of care and respect as you would if you were wooing them.
Best wishes for the success of your business!
Keep your questions coming and your business growing!
Do you have a business question you'd like to have answered in our next "Dear Inner Samurai" issue?
Submit your question here.
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About Susan L. Reid and Alkamae®
Dr. Susan L. Reid, Small Business Expert and Business Catalyst, brings the gift of inner vision and insight to spiritually conscious businesswomen ready to run their businesses confidently, effectively, and fully aligned with their deepest inner principles.
Twice award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success, Dr. Susan revolutionizes the way women do business in the world through the transformational process called Discovering your Inner Samurai.
Discovering your Inner Samurai is not a theory or a strategy.
It is a primal yearning spiritually conscious women can’t deny that drives them deep within, aligning them with their inner guidance system, inspiriting and inspiring them with the confidence and strength to prosper and thrive. Why “Inner Samurai?”
Inner because the voice resides deep within her being (to distinguish it from the voice inside her head).
Samurai because of how powerfully it stands, fully knowing what's true for her, sustaining her to act on that knowing in every moment of every day with integrity, honor, beauty, and grace.
The word "alkamae” means "to transform."
Therefore, Alkamae is the place where spiritually conscious women naturally come to transform their sacred inner voice into the central guidance system compelling their personal and business success.
Do you feel called and excited to learn more? If so, come, visit Alkamae!
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