Spring Is Here!

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I love Spring!

It’s a great time to start fresh and to have new beginnings.

It’s also a great time to do some spring cleaning. Do you need to clear some clutter out of your business? Do you have a to-do list for your to-do list and feel like you can’t get things done within your business. Well now is a good time to take stock on areas you want to change in your business and get moving. Do you need a little push? Try working with a coach that can help you push the restart button in your business. Check out Dan Miller’s resources on finding a coach and happy Spring cleaning.

Are you going to do some spring cleaning in your business? Tell me one small step you are going to take towards getting things done in your business.

Keep It Sunny!

Can You Make Money By Giving Away Free Services?

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The idea of “giving away” free services might sound crazy. You might be thinking why would I do that? Well what if it was framed more like “adding value?” Now that is a term that feels good to the soul and is often used in entrepreneurship circles. I was listening to one of my new favorite podcasts, Small Business Boss and the topic included how to add value. The discussion was about using strategies that don’t scale and how adding value to your niche clientele can help you sale your services to them at a later time.

A Later Time

I hope that last point didn’t bum you out:(

But it all goes back to what is the tried and true buyers mantra; people like to buy from businesses/people that they know like and trust. This all goes back to building rapport. It allows people to get to know you so that when it is time for them to need a service that you might offer then they will reach out to you.

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Yes, it is true that Rome wasn’t built in a day and the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Cliche’s perhaps but very valid and true.

So to go back to the initial question of can you make money by giving away free services?

Yes you can but not over night and only to your core group of niche clientele who you seek out to add value to their businesses/life by sharing your talents and offerings in an authentic helpful way.

Next week I will share some helpful tips on how to do this.

Do you have current service offerings that you previously gave away for free? What did you learn from that experience? Share with the community so we can all learn together.

Keep It Sunny!

How To Provide Amazing Value To Your Clients

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We all know what it is like to receive great customer service and have a great customer experience.

It might look something like this:

You arrive at a new restaurant that you have heard a lot about and are feeling pretty lucky that you got a reservation because they fill up so quickly. The host seats you and your guest and lets you know the waiter will be with you momentarily. The waiter shows up quickly and with a smile on their face ready to offer you menus and take your drink, and appetizer requests. Once you receive your drinks and appetizers the waiter gives you time to enjoy the ambiance, the drinks and appetizers. He returns to take your main course order and like magic your food comes out quick, hot and delicious. Finally you finish your dining experience with dessert and enjoying more of the ambiance. The waiter asks if he can get you anything else and later brings you the check. You don’t even care about the amount and are happy to leave a big tip because you felt special and appreciated at each step along your dining experience.

That is an example of delivering value.

According to the Oxford dictionary, value is “the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.” And Merriam-Webster dictionary describes value as, “A fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged.”

Is Value Subjective?

Yes, in my opinion it is. But I think we can all agree if you go to a nice 4 star rated restaurant vs. McDonald’s that the expectation is that you will get more for your money at the 4 star rated restaurant. The key word is expectation. If you just give people what they expect then that’s okay BUT if you go beyond what they expect then you can provide them with amazing value. In my opinion, this is something that you can’t buy it is intrinsic, genuine value that makes the other person feel special. In order for it to work it has to be authentic and not rehearsed or fake. It could be described as your competitive advantage.

What do you do different that makes your business different then others?

A great example of this is Zappos.com. They are known for delivering happiness through providing a WOW customer service experience. Here are some ideas on how you can provide amazing value to your clients:

  1. Seek to become an expert on what your clients 3 main pain points are and integrate them into your services.

  2. Surprise them with thank you gifts for choosing your company to do business with.

  3. Create services and packages that are all-inclusive and a win/win solution.

  4. Deliver a white-glove concierge experience every-time.

  5. Use social media to stay connected and share useful tips or answer questions from followers.

  6. Build a community for them through online or in person events so that they can have shared experiences with others.

The bottom-line is that the more you can make your clients feel special and valued in an authentic way the more clients will beat a path to your door.

What are some ideas that you have tried in the past to create more amazing value to your clients?

Keep It Sunny!

February Bright Spot Round - Up

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Hey There Awesome Entrepreneurs!

The month is over and I hope you crushed your goals for the month and learned something new to help grow your business. I have decided that each month that I would provide a round-up of the month’s blogpost for you because I know you are busy and might not have had a chance to check out what I wrote for you.:)

This month’s themes were about finding the love again for your business by remembering your purpose and networking.

As we walk into March and the lovely spring season we will talk about how we can share what we do more with others by providing value first.

Happy Binge Reading!

Keep It Sunny!!

The Most Popular Health and Wellness Conferences March 2019

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It is that time of year again. Yes it is conference season. The entertainment has the award season which we are in right now. (If you have noticed that every weekend there is some awards show on like the Oscars and The Grammy’s:)

Entrepreneurs in the Health and Wellness space have their own “season” too.

Are you a skeptic?

Do you think that attending conferences isn’t worth your time? According to SpinGo.com, “88% participate in trade shows to raise awareness of their company and its brand. Trade shows and expos provide a great way to get your name out and let a very niche audience know about your brand.”

So now that you know that it might be worth your time to make time to attend a conference let’s look at the most popular health and wellness conferences for March 2019.

SXSW Wellness Expo - Austin, TX (March 9 - 10)

This conference is part of the world famous SXSW music festival and is sponsored by the luxurious Miraval wellness resorts and spas. The event is promoted to “fuel your mind body and soul.”

IHRSA 2019 - San Diego, CA (March 13 - 16)

The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is hosting this premier event for the fitness community with a focus on the health club industry. The key agenda will target; “Education, TradeShows & Networking Opportunities.”

Sedona Yoga Festival - Sedona, AZ (March 14-17)

The SYF Festival 2019 is touted as “Having all the elements of a traditional yoga conference: world-class presenters, exclusive workshops and top-billing artists. But at its heart, the event will always be a festival – a celebration of life at the deepest level.” It’s also a great excuse to travel to one of the most beautiful cities in the United States too.

So there you have it! Take some time to recharge, refuel and network at one of these conferences. You never know if your next ideal client just might be around the corner waiting to meet you.

Keep It Sunny!

Fall Back In Love With Your Business

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Tis the season of love. There are all those Kay Jewelers commercials that seem to crop up on every channel. And then there are the endless commercials of restaurants standing ready to reel you in with a great 2 for 1 special on V day.

Are you feeling the love yet?

If you are burnt out on running your business then you are probably NOT feeling the love. Check out these ideas below to get that warm fuzzy feeling again about your business.

  • Attend a local meet up or small business networking group in your niche

  • Volunteer or mentor fellow entrepreneurs who are at the beginning of their journey

  • Join a mastermind group with fellow entrepreneurs who can help you take a deep dive into your business

  • Work with a coach that is specific to your business niche

  • Attend a conference and meet new people

  • Change up your routine and schedule time for fun

  • Read or listen to a good book on entrepreneurship or a good autobiography to get inspired

The list of things you can do to get your passion back for your business is endless. We all go through dry spells during our business journey but we must remember this is a chosen path. There are probably many reasons why you started your business and now it is time to get re-energized to share your gifts.

What are some things you do when you get into a business rut? Sharing is caring:)

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Tax Preparation 101

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Are you done with your tax filing yet?

I am sure you are probably shaking your head no and wondering where to start.

Well, have no fear and check out the post I wrote about how to find a tax preparer and other tax tidbits. I am a fellow entrepreneur and not a tax professional so this isn’t advice but reference material to help you in your research.

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What Business Expenses Can I Write Off?

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Tax time is here.

Does that statement fill you with stress?

For most people it does. I just want to say upfront that I am not a tax professional and this is not tax advice in any shape or form. What I am is a fellow small business owner and like you are wondering what business expenses can I write off? According to Bench.co and Cogent Analytics, here is a short list of what is currently deductible with the new tax laws that went into effect this year:

  1. Office Snacks & meals

  2. Company Wide Party

  3. Banking Fees

  4. Donations to Charity

  5. Advertising Deductions

  6. Convention and Trade Show Attendance

  7. Business and Business Vehicle Insurance Premiums

  8. Home Office Expenses

  9. Professional Costs like bookkeeping and legal fees

  10. Interest on Business Credit Cards and Business Loans

  11. Education Expenses

  12. Wages and Salaries

  13. Taxes Previously Paid

  14. Non-Cash Rewards and Gifts

This is just a short list of what you can write off according to these sites. Do you have a tax professional to help you get this squared away? if not check out The Endorsed Local Provider program that is on Dave Ramsey’s site. It is a location specific directory where you can research professionals who have this expertise to help you get through this tax season stress-free. And if you need help to get your books in order to give to your tax professional I am always here to help.

Keep it Sunny!

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year Everyone!

We have officially made it to 2019. It sounds so strange to me but we are here. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family.

Did you spend time in quiet reflection at any point?

I hope so.

I did a lot of thinking and goal setting for this year.

Do you have a theme for this year? My theme for this year is the year of completion; Plan It & Do It!

The new year brings with it a clean slate and a chance to start fresh. Name your goals and make a plan to get them crossed off your to-do list. Here is a previous blog that I wrote to help you get started.

Keep It Sunny!

Countdown To The New Year! Let's Get Ready For 2019

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I am so excited for 2019 and all the great things that are ahead.

I don’t know about you but 2018 was filled with many twists and turns. It was a good year but there are always areas for improvement. Especially when it comes to being a business owner. I was listening to a podcast by Christy Wright from The Business Boutique and she talked about creating a list of what went well, what went wrong, what was missing and what left you confused about your business. I thought this was a great idea and I plan on taking some quiet time to complete this exercise. If you want to learn more about it and other tools that will help you get ready for the new year check out her podcast episode #63 here.

I hope 2018 was a good year for you. As you relax during the holiday season take a moment to celebrate your wins for this year and get ready to kick butt in 2019.

Keep It Sunny!

Help Wanted

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I hope you are enjoying the holiday season with your family. This time is very magical and filled with fun. I hate to bring up taxes right in the middle of this fun time of year but hey we are business owners and it’s that time. :)

So do you have a CPA?

If the answer is no then check out Dave Ramsey’s ELP program. ELP stands for endorsed local provider and this is where you can start researching and hopefully find a CPA for your business.

I know you don’t want to think about this but it’s good to get this taken care of so you won’t be in a panic once the new year starts.

Keep It Sunny!

IT's Tax Time

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We are getting down to the wire and the end of the year is upon us. Soon we will be in the year 2019 (which sounds very futuristic:) and the tax season will be in full swing.

Are you ready?

According to a stat on Entrepreneur.com, “50% of small businesses in the U.S. spend more than 40 hours a year managing their federal taxes.” That doesn’t sound like fun at all.

Check out this short list to help you not become a part of this statistic:

  1. Have a bookkeeping professional help you get your books in order.

  2. Gather your receipts and supporting documents

  3. Find a CPA that fits your personality & business

Here are some resources for you to check out to help you with these 3 checklist items:

CPA On Fire - Here is an article/video on how to find the best tax preparer for you.

Fit Small Business.com - Here is an article on how to find a bookkeeper who is right for you.

Startups.com - Here is an article on how to best manage those pesky receipts.

I hope this will be helpful to you as you wind down your year and get ready for the one ahead.

Keep it Sunny!

Ready Set Go!

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The end of the year is here. I don’t know about you but it seems like it got here really quick. I hope this year was one of your best ones yet and that all the goals you set have come to pass. If not then check out my previous post on how to start fresh with new goals in 2019. This is a busy time of the year for many reasons but don’t forget tax time is just around the corner. Next week I will chat with you about how you can get organized and ready for your favorite CPA. If you don’t have one yet then I will give you some places you might want to check out.

Have an awesome day and as always Keep it Sunny!

:)

Got Goals?

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Do you remember the popular milk campaign called “Got Milk”?

The goal was to raise awareness about drinking more milk to improve your health. In the same way I am asking you this question:

“Got Goals”?

My Business Is Stagnate

In order to reach higher areas in each part of our lives including our business we need goals. Sounds pretty simple right?

Yes and no.

We can think of a million things we would like to accomplish BUT never get results. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post on how to set easy goals for your business. Now I want to go one step further. Recently I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, 48days to the work you love by Dan Miller and stumbled across a goal setting e-book that he was promoting on his website. It’s very comprehensive and it took me about 2 hours to complete. In all fairness I was watching t.v. at the same time and did the exercises in between commercials. :) I found it to be very helpful and useful as a system that will help me make more achievable goals. Take a peek and see if it can work for you. Whatever tool you decide to use doesn’t matter. The real deal is picking a solution that will be easy for you to use and then taking action. What do you have to lose? Give it a go.

What system do you use to achieve goals? Share in the comments below so we can learn from each other.

Keep It Sunny!

What Are You Thankful For Today?

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love all the food, festivities and time spent with friends & family. There is a lot of noise that comes much in the form of black Friday holiday shopping offers, holiday travel stress, meal prep or missing a love one that has passed on. And as business owners we have additional stress that can take place.

It’s Time To Give Thanks

It can be easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the season and not stop to really reflect on what you are thankful for today. I am thankful for my faith and connection to Jesus, my loving family & friends and for my business. Not to mention being in good health and just for having an overall attitude of positivity.

What About You?

What are you truly thankful for today? Forget the madness that this season can bring and take a quiet moment (I know that maybe hard with a house full of people:) but give it a try. I hope you discover the richness that fills your life with joy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

:)

Easy Goal Setting For Your Business

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Do you set goals for your business?

Do you achieve the goals that you set for your business?

If the answer is “yes” to both of these questions then you should be very proud of yourself.

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BUT

If the answer is “no” on both fronts then it’s time to take a look at how you can get better at setting and reaching goals for your business.

Last week I talked about how to manage financial stress in your business by making a plan. This week I will keep it short and sweet. We will look at 3 easy steps you can take to set goals for your business.

  1. Pick a goal and break it down. I know that sounds like a no-brainer but most of us suffer from goal overwhelm. The end result according to Rebeca Brown from Life Hacker.com is that, “This struggle can make us feel extremely overwhelmed, triggering us into habits that are less than productive and that keep us from getting things done. When the day ends, we then feel a crushing sense of guilt and anger for not having accomplished what we set out to do.”

  2. Pick a system to manage your goal. There are one million ways to manage your projects and goals that sometimes we get lost in the sauce. I don’t want to add to the madness so I will refer you to one book called 12 Week Year. The authors state that you can get more done in 12 weeks than others. That sounds like it is worth checking out.

  3. F.O.C.U.S. Follow one course until success. John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire says this motto all the time and I would have to say it works and you know it works. Think back to a time when you had no choice but to focus and accomplish a goal and it worked. Perhaps it was graduating from college or completing a work deadline.

There you have it.

Short and sweet.

Have an amazing day & of course Keep It Sunny!

Pain Management For Your Business

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Do you feel like this poor teddy bear sometimes?

There are client requests to fulfill and business operations to maintain and of course you need to keep your eye on the bottom-line.

It can get crazy!

The end of the year is upon us. Halloween is over and the official holiday season has begun. And let’s not even talk about black Friday, cyber Monday and all the special deal madness that is coming our way to get us to release money from our bank accounts.

All This Financial Stress Can Take It’s Toll

But don’t fear. I believe that planning is the BEST prevention and the best medicine for this type of pain. Take a deep breath and check out this post I wrote in July about how to manage your financial pain and take back control of your business and your life.

Keep It Sunny!

It's Time To Start Winding Down & Planning Ahead

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It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is almost here.

>Sigh>

I know it went by really fast and hopefully you had a productive year. Right now is a good time to start planning ahead for your business.

In the last blog post I talked about how you could take steps to make sure you stay healthy. This time around we need to take at look at how to make sure your business stays in shape. Check out this awesome end of the year checklist and get busy.

Don’t procrastinate.

We all know that once Halloween has come and gone the holiday madness will begin so start planning how you will wrap up this year strong and start fresh for 2019.

Keep It Sunny!

How To Stay Healthy As An Entrepreneur

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Are you taking care of yourself?

Life can get pretty hectic as an entrepreneur. There are clients to take care of, services to deliver, finances that need to be managed and being there for your team if you have employees. None of this includes your personal life. It’s easy to see how quickly a person can get run-down and eventually not feeling their best.

But what can you do?

These things must be handled in order for your business to operate and be profitable. According to Entrepreneur.com and the American Institute of Stress, “Stress in the workplace is more strongly correlated with health issues than even financial difficulties or family problems.” If you work from home then this issue can get much more complicated and real. Here are 10 quick ways to stay healthy as an entrepreneur:

  1. Take scheduled walk breaks daily

  2. Eat healthy during lunch and snack time

  3. Cut out the distractions during your work day

  4. Get organized with your time

  5. Create boundaries with your clients & team

  6. Don’t work after hours

  7. Have fun time scheduled In your down time

  8. Go to the gym during the day during lunch time

  9. Go to bed on time

  10. Breathe

    These 10 tips aren’t anything you haven’t heard before. They are more of a reminder to take time out for yourself and to take care of yourself. You can’t be good to anyone if your not healthy.

Keep It Sunny!