<![CDATA[ESC BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS - Biz Tips]]>Sat, 20 Jan 2024 20:39:18 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Why Strategic Planning is Critical for Entrepreneurs]]>Sun, 05 Feb 2023 19:40:17 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/why-strategic-planning-is-critical-for-entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is an exciting and challenging journey, but it can also be overwhelming. With so many different aspects to manage and so many different goals to achieve, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to navigate the many challenges that come with running a business. That's why strategic planning is so important for entrepreneurs.

Strategic planning is the process of defining your business's goals and objectives, and then creating a plan to achieve them. By taking the time to plan strategically, you can set yourself up for success and ensure that your business is ready to meet any challenge that comes its way.

​One of the most critical elements of strategic planning is setting clear and measurable goals. Without goals, it is challenging to know where you are going and how to get there. As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to set goals for your business and develop a plan to achieve them. This will help you stay focused and on track as you work to grow your business.

Another important aspect of strategic planning is identifying your target market and understanding your customers' needs and wants. This will help you create products and services that meet their needs and position your business for success.

Implementing effective systems and processes is also crucial for strategic planning. As your business grows, it becomes increasingly important to have effective systems and processes in place to support operations, handle increased workloads, and manage finances. By implementing the right systems and processes, you can ensure that your business is operating efficiently and effectively.

Managing finances effectively is also a key part of strategic planning. As a business owner, you need to have a strong understanding of your financials, including revenue, expenses, and cash flow, so that you can make informed decisions about growth. By managing your finances effectively, you can ensure that your business is on track for long-term success.

​Finally, strategic planning requires a constant review and adaptation. The business environment is constantly changing, and it's vital to review your plans and strategies regularly, to make sure they're still relevant and effective.

Strategic planning is essential for the long-term success of an entrepreneur.  Entrepreneurs can get started creating a strategic plan by following these steps:
  1. Define your business vision and mission: Start by defining what your business stands for, what it wants to achieve, and why it exists. This will give you a clear direction for your business and help you focus on what's most important.
  2. Conduct a SWOT analysis: Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of your business to get a clear understanding of your current position and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Set clear and measurable goals: Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your business. This will give you a roadmap for what you want to achieve and help you stay focused.
  4. Identify your target market: Research your target market to understand their needs and wants. This will help you create products and services that meet their needs and position your business for success.
  5. Develop a marketing plan: Create a marketing plan to reach your target market and promote your products and services. This will help you achieve your goals and grow your business.
  6. Implement effective systems and processes: Put systems and processes in place to support operations, handle increased workloads, and manage finances. This will help you operate efficiently and effectively.
  7. Manage finances effectively: Keep a close eye on your financials, including revenue, expenses, and cash flow. This will help you make informed decisions about growth and ensure your business is on track for long-term success.
  8. Regularly review and adapt: Review your plans and strategies regularly to make sure they are still relevant and effective. The business environment is constantly changing, and it's important to stay ahead of the game.

By following these steps, entrepreneurs can create a strategic plan that sets them up for success and helps them navigate the challenges of running a business.
<![CDATA[Save Time & Improve Client Experience With A CRM]]>Sun, 04 Dec 2022 03:35:03 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/save-time-improve-client-experience-with-a-crm📈 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. (Microsoft)
 📊 90% of customers rate an "immediate" response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. (HubSpot Research)
 📉 94% of American customers will recommend a company whose service they rate as “very good.” (Qualtrics XM Institute)
​These stats are proof that people will happily buy when their experience is good and they believe in the quality of the service they will get.
It’s imperative that potential clients have a great experience through your process from that first interaction all the way to becoming a client and even afterwards.  Do this right and you’ll have a client for life + an abundance of referrals!

And it’s totally possible to achieve this by working smarter, not harder and ultimately save time + money! 

Think about how much more productive you could be, revenue you could make and time you could get back if you automated processes using the right systems. Not to mention having a better client experience overall with consistent communication and increased response times. It's a Win, Win!

And I get it, you had to start somewhere so doing things manually made sense at some point. But now its become a huge time suck and you know it - you just don't have the time and resources to fix it.

The manual back and forth with clients takes DOUBLE the time! Think about how easier business could be if you automated processes using a CRM.

A CRM is a Customer/Client Relationship Management system that allows you to seamlessly and automatically schedule appointments; send emails, proposals, invoices, forms; track your client accounts + more.

There are several options for CRM out there, depending on your needs.  If you are a service provider just getting started with a CRM I’d recommend
Dubsado or HoneyBook. I’ve used them both and personally prefer Dubsado for its customization and added features.  There is a learning curve in setting it up however.  HoneyBook is more user friendly and gets the job done as well.  

Whichever you decide to go with, be sure to first identify your needs in what the CRM will help you do.  Then research and pick the best option based on that.

So look into automating using a CRM, I’m telling you this system will save you so much time in the intake to onboarding process, plus keep track of your pipeline and consistently communicate with your clients throughout their time working with you.
<![CDATA[5 Mindset Must-Haves to Grow]]>Tue, 25 Oct 2022 10:00:00 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/5-mindset-must-haves-to-grow​It takes a lot to grow and manage a business, as you know…you’ve been at this for a while. I’ve discovered that as you step into the role of CEO and start to really lock in doing what it takes to be successful in business, there are going to be some growing “pains”.  The growth season you experience can literally stop you in your tracks and prevent you from achieving your goals and dreams – if you let it.  
So I wanted to take a little time to talk about 5 key mindsets that you will need as you transition from building your business to growing your business.
1. Growth Mindset – As an entrepreneur, I'm sure you've heard this a thousand times, “you have to have a growth mindset!".  But what does this truly mean? Having a growth mindset means using every experience as a learning opportunity.  Taking challenges and risks; being willing to try new things, make mistakes, and learn from them.  A big part of having a growth mindset is investing in yourself.  The hard truth is that while you've done well so far in business, you don't know it all. To seek knowledge, gain skills and overall make yourself better is key and comes with a level of investment whether it's your time or money.  
2. Discipline Mindset – When you don’t want to, but have to do it anyway.  This one is haaaard!  We all have days we don't feel like it right?  But our success sometimes hangs on the ability to push through.  Having a disciplined mindset keeps us focused on the things that need to be done in order to move the ball forward.  We also have to be disciplined with our time and money.  Growing a business takes sacrifice - it may mean you can't Netflix and chill ALL day, shoot the breeze with a friend for 2 hours on a Monday or splurge on a trip to Vegas - you've got work to do and business expenses to cover.  
3. Focused Mindset – There’s a lot of information running around the internet on what you should do and could do.  Everyone has an opinion and a plan for how businesses should run, grow and scale. That’s not to say the information is bad and some of it may actually benefit you.  Having a focused mindset means setting parameters around what you consume and act upon based on your goals and what you are trying to achieve in business.  It's easy to get distracted - have those squirrel moments - especially when we see nice shiny objects or people flexing on the 'gram and want that lifestyle too.  Keep focused on what YOUR mission and vision is; the purpose you are meant to execute.  The goals that you set and the action plans to get there.  If the information you see doesn’t line up with those things, then put it away for another time and stay laser-focused on the steps that will help you achieve your goals. 
4. Take Action Mindset – Dreaming big can be scary and when we experience fear we have a fight or flight response.  Most of us will activate our flight response, which in business looks like stalling, being paralyzed, trying to make things perfect, and not putting yourself out there.  But, in order to grow you have to condition your mind to fight even when it's uncomfortable; mostly when it's uncomfortable.  The take-action mindset is about execution, making decisions, and doing what it takes to reach the level of success you desire.  Having amazing ideas is great, but if you don't take action they just stay ideas and no one gets to benefit from them - not even you.
5. Give Yourself Some Grace Mindset – You're doing a lot, wearing all the hats.  Balancing family, possibly a 9-5 or part-time job plus trying to grow a business. Give yourself grace.  With this mindset, you have to take time for mindfulness and self-care without guilt. When you feel yourself getting burnt out, frustrated, or overwhelmed – listen to your mind and your body.  Reset and recenter – do yoga, meditate, take a hot bath, read, watch a movie, take a walk, or spend quality time with family.  Keep reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can, with what you have and it's beyond an amazing job.  You've come so far - celebrate all the wins, no matter how big or small.
Ok, I had to add this bonus:  Awareness Mindset – I couldn't leave this one out because we all experience it, don't quite know how to deal with it and personally I don't think it's talked about enough.  As entrepreneurs, we experience ALOT of emotions, mostly in dealing with ourselves personally.  This journey can feel like you are stepping into a new you or a more evolved version of you.  It's important to have an awareness mindset where you recognize these feelings and take moments to dig in.  Some of it stems all the way from childhood traumas. Things that you've suppressed for so long are surfacing as you are trying to build and grow a business. There are likely going to be instances where you find yourself being stretched, uncertain of if you can do this, and why all these things are coming up all of a sudden.  Take moments to reflect internally, even on your past of how you came to be who you are. Ultimately, you will reach a point of having to face yourself and be willing to become new in order to grow personally and your business.  Being aware and doing the work internally to be better mentally will make all the difference, promise.
So, what's my biggest struggle?  Well truthfully I experience and deal with ALL of these from time to time.  But my biggest mindset struggle is Discipline believe it or not.  I know the things I have to do, but pushing myself sometimes is tough. Especially when it comes to creating content LOL!  But I'm intentional about working on it daily and putting strategies in place for me to keep executing according to plan.
Before wrapping up, please know this is not a catch-all list.  These are what I consider the 5 main areas (6 including the one I threw in lol).  As you can imagine being a CEO comes with an array of mindset needs.  These are, however, core areas that I’ve experienced personally and work with my clients in facing as they are shifting into the growth phase of their business.

​I would love to know what mindset areas you are working on as you continue to grow and scale your business.  Leave a comment and let me know…let's chat!
<![CDATA[Start Your Next Project or Launch Successfully]]>Wed, 05 Oct 2022 03:47:08 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/start-your-next-project-or-launch-successfully
Have you had a launch or project recently that didn’t go well? About to start a new project or launch? Have some projects coming up in the future? Then you’ll want to check out this post.

For launches and projects to run as smoothly as possible you’ve got to have the right foundation. This starts before you even plan and execute. Initiating a project is a whole effort by itself! This phase includes:​​​​​​​​
✨ Understanding the business case & goals​​​​​​​​
✨ Assessing high-level impacts and dependencies​​​​​​​​
✨ Identifying resources needs​​​​​​​​
✨ Establishing project structure and core team​​​​​​​​
✨ Developing project plan​​​​​​​​

Let's break each one down further...
1. Understand Business Case & Goals: Setting the foundation upfront for the project, its purpose, viability and alignment will properly guide you through planning & implementation.  Take time to analyze:  
  • What outcomes do you want to achieve?
  • Is there a market for it?
  • What problem are you solving?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Do your business goals align?
  • How will you measure success?

2. Assess High Level Impacts & Dependencies:  Determine impacts internally to your business (time, capacity, cost, etc.) as well as externally to those that would be consumers of the offer.  This assessment determines how best to move forward with the project - if the impacts will result in benefits or if you're willing to accept any risk associated with them.  Identify & assess dependencies for the project - what is needed to get it done, are they items you control, do others need to be involved, etc.

3.  Identify Resource Needs:  
Look at the scope of the project and the anticipated outcomes to determine what resources are needed to make it happen.  Here's some core resources to identify:
  • People - who do you need? are they already on your team or need to hire?
  • Technology - what systems re needed? do you have it all or need to purchase?
  • Budget - estimated cost for implementation of project - is this cost you're prepared to spend?
  • Materials - if product based do you have inventory currently? Need to purchase additional items? Special orders/needs?

4.  Establish Project Structure & Core Project Team:  Create a baseline structure for how the project will run during its implementation and identify primary team members for execution.  Things to consider:
  • What roles and responsibilities are needed?
  • How will you track and manage the project?
  • How often do you want to meet with the team?
  • Do you need temp support to focus on specific tasks?
  • Who is the ultimate authority and decision maker?
  • How will the team communicate among each other, give updates, discuss issues?

5. Develop Project Documentation:  I know, who likes writing documentation right? But it is necessary to seamlessly move into the planning stage.  Taking information from earlier steps, create a project plan that includes:
  • Project description
  • Project objectives/goals
  • Project scope (what's included, what's not)
  • Success criteria
  • High level milestones
  • Project team
  • List of systems & resources needed

Do these things and the next phase will go a lot smoother....set up everything adequately and your implementation should be a non-stress event 😉​​​​​​​​

How you start sets the tone for the whole launch, Start Right!💫​​​​​​​​
➡️If you have a launch planned, let's chat - send me a message or book a call for launch management support.
<![CDATA[3 Ways to Make Q4 The Best in 2022]]>Tue, 04 Oct 2022 23:25:51 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/3-ways-to-make-q4-the-best-in-2022
It's crazy that we just wrapped up Q3!  I feel like it was just January 2022.   As we were gearing up to make the transition into Q4 I was thinking, what are some ways we can really plan for Q4 and make it the best quarter yet.   So here are 3 ways to make sure this is your best quarter in 2022.
1️⃣ So the first way to make sure that Q4 is the best one for 2022 is to look at your data, and know your numbers. How was your marketing over the past year so far? What are your insights on social media? If you do email marketing, what have been your open rates and your click rates? Are people converting as you're messaging in the DMs or through your emails? What programs or services are people the most interested in that they've messaged you about or have bought? Basically, look at all aspects of your performance for the year because truly this is the only time you're going to have the most data going into a new quarter in the same year.   

Also, keep in mind most of the time we look at data and want to concentrate on the areas of improvement.  And that's great, but given where we are I suggest you focus on the things that worked well and continue to do those things.  Don't spend the energy trying to fix something that may take longer than the next three months to fix in order to get the return you need. 

2️⃣ Secondly, what I call identifying your goal gap. So at the beginning of the year, many of us set goals for the year. whether it was revenue goals, releasing and launching new services, goals associated with marketing, sales, increasing our network, etc.  I actually would recommend that you assess those each quarter, but if you haven't or here we are at the start of the new quarter, let's look at them again and see where you are. So look at the goals that you set at the beginning of the year and where you are today, then assess the gap in between.  That's the goals gap. 

Most of your goals you're probably very close to reaching which is why I want you to identify the goals gap, because it's important to know how you can achieve them in this next quarter of the year.   You could be so close that if you could just get some temporary help it will help you a ton. We'll get a Fiverr, and outsource jobs so that you can attain and reach your goals.  You might be in the middle of writing an ebook or creating a course and you're almost done.  What do you need to get to the finish line? Assessing the goals gap will be the momentum you need to get to the finish line and past it. 

3️⃣ Third way is to plan now! Q4 has a lot of opportunity to bring in revenue with holidays, Black Friday and preparation for 2023. What offers are you going to focus on marketing this quarter? What do people need the most? Will you give any specials for the Black Friday and holiday season? Make a written plan, NOW!  

I don't mean just in your mind either - get a sheet of paper, pull up your project management tool (which I highly recommend), start a spreadsheet, write out on a whiteboard - something written, to plan out the rest of this year.   This includes: the services you provide, if there's any discounts or offers that you want to add during this season, if you want to do an offer for Black Friday, etc.  Also be mindful of the season people are in and use that to your advantage.  For example, if you are a consultant or coach that offers strategy and business planning, well people are going to be looking to get help in planning for 2023.  Or if you are product based, are you creating inventory and planning out your sales for the holiday season? 

Remember too, its not enough to just put things out.  You have to start planning 4-6 weeks in advance with marketing campaigns, messaging etc. to warm up your audience in anticipation to buy.  

We’ve got 3 months left‼️ This is the quarter to not second guess or doubt. It’s time to execute, execute, execute. Think long and you’ll think wrong…Go for it!
<![CDATA[10 Low Cost Tools to Organize and Automate Your Business]]>Tue, 04 Oct 2022 23:00:07 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/10-low-cost-tools-to-organize-and-automate-your-business
​Saving time and energy doesn’t have to be hard or costly! Here’s 10 Low Cost (even FREE) tools that will organize and automate your business…

1. Asana $0 - $11/mo
Project Management tool for task management, launch implementation, social media planning and project team collaboration

2. Dubsado Free Trial, $20-$40/mo
Client Relationship Management (CRM) for 
proposals, contracts, invoicing, automated workflows, scheduler and more for the client management

3. Flodesk Free Trial, $19/mo with discount code
Email Marketing tool for newsletters, sales/promo emails, opt-in forms, list segmentation, sequences and now sales pages

4. Planoly Free Trial, $0 - $36.50/mo
Social Media Scheduling tool for social media planning, best time to post, auto-posting, canva integration, analytics

5. Google Workspace $6- $18/user/mo
Business Apps & Collaboration Tools for business branded email, calendar, docs, forms, file shares, video conferencing

6. Loom $0 - $8/user/mo
Screen Recording to record how to videos for clients and create SOPs, embedded links, light editing, transcriptions

7. Thinkific $0 - $79/mo
Online learning platform for courses, multimedia lessons, memberships, sales pages, digital products

8. Calendly $0 - $16/user/mo
Appointment Scheduling tool to easily s
chedule individual or team meetings online with calendar integration and elimination of the back and forth

9. Airtable $0 - $20/user/mo
Online database to bring information together in an organized manor with automation, forms, multiple views and sharing

10. Zapier $0 - $50/mo
Online Integration tool to connect apps/tools, automated workflows, send data, automate repetitive tasks

**Some costs are based on annual billing and does not include enterprise licensing costs**

✨If you want more info on how these tools can help you, send me a message and I’ll help you get started.✨
<![CDATA[Why Every CEO Needs A Business Integrator]]>Thu, 30 Jun 2022 16:19:33 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/why-every-ceo-needs-a-business-integratorYou’ve heard the terms Online Business Manager (OBM), Director of Operations (DOO), Chief of Operations (COO), Chief of Staff.  No matter the title, the role is essential and it is known as a Business Integrator?
And guess what, that’s exactly who I am! Picture
So, what is a Business Integrator?  I’m glad you asked…
A Business Integrator is the glue that holds all the pieces together for the business or organization. We are the ying to the creative entrepreneur’s yang.   More than just doing the work, Business Integrators drives results, provides clarity, manages the team, solves problems, prioritizes business needs, executes the plan and best of all -  partners and strategies with CEOs to filter their ideas and make them a reality.  
So, you know…we do all the things and make ‘ish happen!
So, why does EVERY CEO need a Business Integrator?  Well, there comes a time that doing it solo or even with a small staff just doesn’t cut it.  You’re either feeling stuck trying to do it all yourself, or finally managed to hire help only to now be spending your time telling them how to do their job.  You've hit a ceiling that you can't break through.  In order to grow and scale, especially as a visionary entrepreneur, you are going to need a leader, your #2, a strategic partner to help make all your big dreams a reality.  You need to have space and time to create, doing what you love.  I mean that’s why you started the business in the first place right?

 Whether now, yesterday or a few months from now there will come a time where you will need this role in your business.  Running a business is tough, oh boy is it tough!  But the amazing part is there are people whose purpose is to help you succeed and thrive exponentially by integrating all the pieces into a beautiful whole. (🙋‍♀️Me…I am those people)
Listen, this isn’t a concept I developed, but one I have fully embraced for over 15 years.  While working in corporate this is what I did. Working for Executive Directors and VPs, I worked with them to execute the vision, manage the work and solve problems along the way.  And what did that mean for them – relief in knowing it was handled, more time to focus on making sales, a peaceful work environment and results that exceeded expectations.
If you'd like to learn more about this, check out this article from Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) on Visionaries and Integrators, and why both are essential.  Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
<![CDATA[3 Lessons Learned from Recent Launch]]>Wed, 22 Jun 2022 03:28:43 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/3-lessons-learned-from-recent-launch
​A few weeks ago I had my first personal launch within ESC Business Management Solutions.  It was both a scary, yet rewarding experience LOL!

See I thrive in the background of client launches and executing them to the ‘capital T’…but my OWN?!  Whew, talk about stepping outside my comfort zone.

What I love about this experience is how much I learned about myself and even improvements I’ll make to support future launches for clients.

So as I reflected back over everything, from pre-launch to post-launch and all that was in between I identified several lessons learned, here I’ll share my top 3:
1.  3 Days is a lot to do ALONE!
​As an introvert it already takes a lot of energy to talk and speak in front of a crowd, and be “on”.  But 3 consecutive days, whew!  By the end of day 3 I was T.I.R.E.D!!  There was just SO much information I wanted to share that one-day wouldn’t not have been enough.  So when I first decided to do the workshop and wrote down all that I wanted to talk about it came out to be 3 days – and truly that still required me to trim some original content down.  In hindsight there are other approaches that would have worked well, but saved my energy.  Such as doing it one day a week for 3 weeks or having guest speakers to cover some of the topics.  All in all, I was able to maintain enough energy to have a great workshop…I definitely rested for several days afterwards though!​

2.  Even when you think you’re killing it with marketing, Do More!
​During the pre-launch and launch period I certainly posted on social media and emailed to my list more than I had before.  Even with social media I was on 3 platforms (IG, FB and LinkedIn) and doing a variety of content from static posts, to reels, videos, stories + posting multiple times a day.  I saw a 108% increase in accounts engaged on Instagram during the launch period compared to the month before and engaged 297% more accounts that weren’t following me than the month before.  Sounds like I was killing it right?  Yet, I wasn’t seeing the registrations for the workshop I had hoped for, nor the sales from the post-launch offer I had hoped for.  So what was missing?

​I realized during this period I never went live on Instagram or Facebook.  Plus, while I was sending DM’s to my new followers to get to know them more, I wasn’t engaging much at all on other accounts or proactive outreach to my existing followers on any of the platforms.  My “post it they will come” approach didn’t help me reach my goals.  And part of the reason I didn’t engage more, go live more, etc. was because it wasn’t comfortable.  I’d advise my clients to do all those things, but when it comes to me…the person who loves hanging out in the back, I failed to push myself to get out of my own comfort zone to market in the right ways.  So just when I was killing it marketing, I should have done more.  Biggest lesson learned – Get Uncomfortable!

3.  Wake Up Call – You can have a well planned & executed launch, yet still get low registration
As someone who is used to making sure the planning and execution of launches and projects are as flawless as possible, I ensured the preparation and implementation of all my launch activities went off without a hitch.  And they did!  All my systems worked; emails were drafted, scheduled and sent on time; my presentations were great; no issues with connectivity, etc.  There were no operational or delivery hiccups.  I’m very proud of that.  Yet, the registration numbers weren’t as I had hoped.  And please don’t get me wrong, the people who should have and needed to be there were there.  I appreciate each of you who registered as well as showed up each night.  This was just a wake up call for me that everything operationally and systematically can go extremely well but still get an unexpected outcome.  So that’s actually when I asked myself, “But what did you learn”.  As I reflected I came up with a list and these top 3 were born.

While I may have not gotten the number of registrations for the live launch I still walk away with knowing I helped those that did join.  I also have almost 3 hours of content I can repurpose and some amazing lessons learned for the next time I personally do a launch.

If you are currently planning a launch or thinking of having a launch soon – whether webinar, challenge, course, mastermind, membership program etc. – I’m currently accepting new clients for launch management services.  Book a discovery call with me to discuss!

<![CDATA[Stop Wasting Time!]]>Wed, 15 Jun 2022 11:45:00 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/stop-wasting-time
How many times this month did you get to the 10 o'clock night-time hour and say “ugh, I wish I had more time”?  Because likely, your to-do list still isn't complete, you're exhausted and now you have to decide to burn the midnight oil or catch some zzzzz's and push the rest off til tomorrow.

Listen, we've all been there…myself included! 
But many times what we don't realize is there are so many opportunities to save time throughout the day that's right in front of us.  What I've discovered in my own life and with my clients, there are 3 main areas where we simply, waste time!
As entrepreneurs we have ALOT on our plates, but wouldn't you rather close the computer at 5pm instead of 12am?
So, let's chat about these 3 time wasters and how we can change that….
Time Waster #1:  Manual Work
The manual work you do in your business day-to-day can more than DOUBLE the time it would take if you had automation! Think about how much more productive you could be, revenue you could make and time you could get back if you automated processes using the right systems. Not to mention having a better client experience overall with consistent communication and increased response times. It's a Win, Win!
And I get it, you had to start somewhere so doing things manually made sense at some point.  But now its become a huge time suck and you know it - you just don't have the time and resources to fix it.
Sound familiar? 
So take a look at your processes, identify where things are highly manually and determine a system (or systems) that can help you streamline and automate.  Operations + systems are my jam, so if you need help let me know.
Time Waster #2:  Distractions
You probably guessed this one, right?  It's the one area we know for sure are time wasters yet we have the hardest time solving - especially with social media (just saying!)
There's so much “noise” that we experience throughout the day - between working from home, kids, activities, our phones, the internet and I'll say again…social media!  We can't help but get distracted dozens of times daily.
So listen, stop scrolling and implement a couple (or all) of these time saving tips to reduce distractions:
  1. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb (DND) throughout the day to focus on tasks
  2. Schedule a CEO Day to have dedicated time to work on your business vs. being sporadic throughout the week
  3. Batch content and schedule social media posts - prevents you from scrolling after you post and get more content done during periods when your mind is creatively focused
  4. Time block your schedule - set aside blocks of dedicated time to do specific tasks or work on client accounts with small breaks in between (actually block off your calendar)
  5. Set office hours for your clients and/or staff - so you're breaking focus, starting and stopping tasks to handle client/staff requests all day

Time Waster #3:  Lack of Clarity
You may saying, lack of clarity - how is this a time waster?  Glad you asked, here's how…

When don't have clear direction and clarity of purpose you will swirl, baby will you swirl.  You go down rabbit holes looking for information, bouncing from platform to platform…person to person…or may just fall into the ”distraction" area because your motivation is shot trying to figure it out.  In those moments of bouncing around valuable time is being wasted.  You're either spending hours looking in the wrong direction or sitting aimlessly unfocused and unsure so nothing gets accomplished anyway.
So how do you get clarity?  Spend some time journaling on why you do what you do to begin with.  Then really dig into establishing your visionmission and core values.  These 4 areas are critical to setting a strong foundation and getting you on the right journey so you can stop walking in circles.  Once those are set, determine your goals and create an action plan to achieve them.
I have a great opportunity to help you in this area, contact me to let me know if you're interested in knowing more.
It's amazing to witness the transformation in your business when you get clarity.  You save time, reach your goals faster and just overall feel great about making good progress. 
So, which of these 3 time wasters do you struggle with the most?
I'd love to know and if you're going to try one of the solutions mentioned. If so, do me a favor - leave a comment and let me know.  My goal is always to provide value for you to succeed in business.  If you'd like to know more on how I do that and can support you, I'd love to chat.  Book a call with me anytime.
<![CDATA[Does Your Mission, Vision & Values Make Sense?]]>Wed, 02 Feb 2022 01:54:53 GMThttp://escbms.com/blog/does-your-mission-vision-values-make-sense
Whether you’ve been in business a while or just starting out – your company’s mission, vision and values are critical to success.  They serve as a central node in the focus of your business.  The types of clients you work with, the services or products you offer, your yes’s and no’s are all set in the mission, vision and values you create for your business.  Let’s break all of these down:
Your purpose and passions drive your mission.  The mission statement of your business clearly defines why you exist.  This clarity is key because it sets the framework for validating the types of products, services and even clients you will work with.  Your offerings should directly align with the mission of your business.  If they don’t you should assess and reconsider if your mission needs changing or if your offerings are misaligned, thus needing adjustment.

In drafting a mission statement, I like to start brainstorming by completing the following sentence: “I’m on a mission to….”.   Once I get all my thoughts out I review, group together similar ideas and refine into statements that are succinct and make sense.   Here’s our mission statement for example:

ESC Business Management Solutions strives to help small business owners:
1) streamline operations and systems to create efficiencies that save their business time and money,
2) implement structures and solutions that lead to increased productivity, and
3) strategize and plan effectively to achieve their goals.

You won’t get to where you are going if you don’t know where you’re headed.  Some confuse mission and vision or think they are interchangeable – but they are different.  Think of the mission as ‘what you do’ and the vision as ‘where you want to go’.  Your vision should be slightly uncomfortable and scare you a bit.  If it doesn’t – aim higher!  The vision statement is where you articulate what you dream for business in the future, and you should never put a limitation on how high you can go. Your vision will serve as one of the motivating factors for how you choose to journey through business.  Each path you take should lead you to achieving the vision you create.
Similarly to drafting a mission statement – really anything I draft – I start by brainstorming.  This time I do a brain dump by completing the sentence:  “I envision my business to be…”.  I then take all the ideas, see where the themes are and craft my vision statement.  Here’s our vision statement for example:
ESC Business Management Solutions will be known as:
1) a premier strategic partner for business management needs,
2) an authority in being a business integrator – known as an expert in small business operations and project management, and
3) a sought-after educator and coach to other service providers helping them to successfully scale their service offerings into operations and project management.

Core values set the tone for who you are and what you represent.  They are like the heartbeat to how you operate each day.  Your values should align with your ‘why’- the purpose behind the business and why wake up each day working hard.  The clients you choose should also align with your values – trust me, you’ll save a lot of headaches and stress by assessing if potential clients are in alignment. Think about values as your identity for the business.  Likely they will be a direct reflection of your own personal beliefs and how you carry yourself day to day.

Establish the core values for your business by brainstorming what you value in life and how you want to be known to those that interact with you.  A simple list of attributes would suffice in this first step.  Then look at all the words and find commonalities.  More than likely it will be easy to group the list into themes.  Narrow down the list and try to pick your top 5.  If you’re like me that may be hard, so I actually have 7 😆.  Now that you have the actual list of attributes, now write a short statement for each characteristic on how that value will be executed in your business.  Here’s our value statements for example: 

ESC Business Management Solutions Core Values:
Integrity: We do what’s right without question, upholding high standards of excellence and projecting the integrity of our clients as well.
Quality: We commit to providing high-quality work products and services.
Trustworthy: We commit to a partnership that can be trusted, one of honesty and transparency.
Dependable: Our clients can rely on us for their business management needs and know that we will be responsive and follow through on commitments.
Positivity: We create a positive environment to work in and find opportunities to encourage others.
Impact: We are committed to making a positive difference in the businesses we serve.
Servant Leadership: We lead with care and concern, helping others and considering the needs of the businesses we serve in how we lead.

Using this information, take time to evaluate your current mission, vision and values – or create them.  You’ll be happy you took the time to think it through as it will make decision-making and running a business smoother.  Establishing or refining a company's mission, vision and values is the first exercise I walk through with business owners during our Strategic Planning VIP Day.  Check out more information about this service below and let me know if you’re interested in learning more. 

Learn more about our strategic planning services