Are Are You To Busy To Cook? Check Out These Healthy Meals Delivered To Your Door.

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Does this sound familiar, you finish coaching a client and it is now time to shut down for the day but you have your children to pick up or errands to run and dinner is still on your to-do list. Or you have been working so hard you forgot to each lunch.

What are your options as a busy entrepreneur?

You'r Busy and Stressed!

Are you going to just starve to death?

Of course not BUT stopping at Whole Foods to pick up ingredients to prepare a fresh healthy meal from scratch when your already tired is probably not going to happen.

Thank goodness there are some enterprising healthy meal delivery services that make the meals for you and all you have to do is warm them up or just put it on a plate to eat. Let's take a look at a few below.

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Factor 75 

Factor 75 delivers fresh meals weekly to your door at home, your office and even at a hotel. They have options that range from Grass-fed Burger with Tomato Bacon Chutney to Butternut Squash Lasagna. All their menu items are always "Grass-fed, pasture-raised, preservative-free, antibiotic & hormone-free, soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO and organically grown". Weekly plans start as low as $60 per week. 

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Clean Eats

Clean Eats is a made for you meal delivery service that has a tagline of "Healthy Meals Delivered". Their menu offerings include; Vegetarian, Gluten-Free & No Carb. If you wish to go with one of their meal plans they have the option to based it around a certain goal such as weight-loss, healthy weight maintenance, building muscle or create a custom goal. Plans start as low as $8 per. day. They offer 10% off the first order to get started. 

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Original Meal Prep Vegas

Original Meal Prep Vegas is right in my backyard and I didn't even know it. They are a healthy meal prep delivery service that specializes in "Healthy prepared fresh and delivered meals, that are affordable and delivered to your door ". Their meal choices include chicken fajitas with sweet potato, turkey meatballs marinara with quinoa and pot roast angus with mashed cauliflower. Plans start as low as $8.88 per meal.

I had a hard time writing this blog post because it made me hungry! :)

It's great to see there are a number of options available to suit any lifestyle and meal preference. As a busy entrepreneur, it is important that you take care of yourself so that you can deliver the best service to your clients. Check out the options above to get a jump start on treating your belly better. 

What about you? Do you know of some healthy meal delivery services that you want to share? Let's us know in the comments below.

Keep It (HEALTHY) and Sunny!

How To Start A Home-Based Business With No Money In 4 Easy Ways

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You are always coming up with new ideas to the point it is driving you bonkers. Maybe it's time to do something with all those great ideas and start a home-based business. 

1. Decide on if you will offer a service or a product.

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It can be tricky putting together the pieces of this puzzle. According to Elle and Company Design, offering a product first can be costly if you don't have a wide audience. In contrast, offering a service can be less risky and "you only need a handful or two of interested clients to generate a significant profit". 

2. Figure out if your idea is viable or not.

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It's important to do market research to see if people will pay money to buy your services and products. Is there an unmet need for what you want to sell? This is where many of us freeze up and dreams die off. But it doesn't have to be that way. In an article on Entreprenuer.com, they state that "You can gather information from industry associations, Web searches, periodicals, federal and state agencies, and so forth. A trip to the library or a few hours online can set you on your way to really understanding your market. Your aim is to gain a general sense of the type of customer your product or service will serve-or at least to being willing to find out through the research process".

3. LeverageTechnology.

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We live in the greatest technological time. It has never been easy to get up and running with sharing your gifts and talents. Just look at all the Youtube stars. You can use the internet to test the market and sell your service and products with minimal barriers to entry. This is a game changer.

4. Sell, Sell, Sell! When many people think of selling to others the image of a slick talking used car salesman usually comes into focus.

Image courtesy of somkiat2023 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of somkiat2023 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to Springboard Biz Development, this is known as transactional selling and is based on " short-term solutions which are primarily concerned with the promotion and selling of the product with little or no emphasis on customer needs".  This definition of selling according to Dictionary.com is to persuade or induce someone to buy (something)". Eww! I don't know about you but I don't want anyone "inducing me to buy anything". But I would be interested in someone getting to know my needs and pain points and sharing a service or product that would alleviate my problem. This version of selling is relationship based. Relationship-based selling is focused on "building long-term relationships where the sales rep gets to know his/her customer, their needs, and their wants. Then and only then does the salesperson even think about trying to make a sale".

When you have zero dollars to start a business starting a home-based business could be the answer. It's important to:

  • Decide if you will offer a service or product
  • Figure out if your product is something people need or want
  • Use technology to test the waters
  • Build relationships with your customers so that you can share services or products that they want

Are you pumped and ready to hit the ground running with your new home-based business? Do you have other ideas to share to help others who are looking to build their business with no money? Share in the comments below.

KEEP IT SUNNY!

It's Tax Time - Are You Prepared?

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As the year winds down and we all start to get into the holiday season there is one thing to start thinking about as a business owner: TAXES

I know I just ruined your breakfast this morning but it is something we cannot ignore. Here are 3 quick tips to help you as you prepare for this all-important task:

1. Make sure you have updated contact information and W-9's for all vendors who you have paid $600 or more to this year. If they are a corporation then they will not need a 1099 to be issued to them but if they are a sole-proprietor or LLC then you will need to issue them a 1099. If your not sure then get a W-9 from any vendor who you have paid more than $600 to this year. It's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Start gathering all your business related receipts you used for expenses this year and capture them on an Excel spreadsheet for easy retrieval for your tax preparer. For next year think about using Expensify to manage all of your expense recordkeeping.

3. Make sure your bookkeeping is up to date and is working for you. Do you use a specific accounting software or are you only using Excel spreadsheets? If it is the later it may be time to review if that system is still working for your business.

If you need more specific information related to tax planning and how to work with the IRS should you find yourself owing them check out Josh Bauerle's site CPA On Fire to learn some cool tips and tricks.

It is the season to be jolly but you won't have much to be happy about if you have the tax monster nipping at your toes. Be proactive and check out the tips above. Do you have a good system for keeping track of your tax-related information? Or do you just hate the word taxes? Share with us in the comments below.

Keep it Sunny!

 

3 Reasons To Feel Thankful As You Build Your Business and The Lifestyle of Your Dreams

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Well, it's that time of year when we get together with our family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. For some of us, it will mean going shopping for Black Friday doorbusters. And for others, it will mean watching football and grazing on all the Thanksgiving Day goodies. No matter what your family traditions are it is usually a signal to start taking stock of the year to see what you have accomplished. What if you haven't reached your business or personal goals?

Take a deep breath and read below to stay encouraged.

Reason Number One:

You are taking intentional steps toward realizing your dream work/lifestyle. You might feel discouraged because you haven't arrived at your destination but at least you are on the right path.   

Reason Number Two:

You are using your gifts to change another person's life. This is HUGE! Your business is unique to your specific "gifting". And instead of continuing on the road that is much traveled you decided to be a maverick and use the gifts God gave specifically to you to be an agent of change. 

Reason Number Three:

You are changing your family tree. Dave Ramsey from The Dave Ramsey Show a personal finance podcast, often mentions how going on the journey to live debt free will change your family tree for the better. The same analogy can be said when you go out on your own and start your own business. You are setting a trend in your family (maybe for the first time) to create financial security by starting and running a successful business. And if you are a women entrepreneur you are really changing your family-tree by starting your own business according to an article on Fortune.com. "Researchers found that almost 90% of women entrepreneurs expected their companies’ gross profits to increase or remain stable in the next year. More specifically, 61% expected profits to rise, compared to an average of 58% among all entrepreneurs".

It is easy to get down on yourself if you're not exactly where you want to be in your business or living the dream lifestyle you desire. The holidays can bring out the "comparison gremlins" to make you feel lousy. Don't buy into that trap. Take stock of your goals and keep taking one small step forward towards your destiny. I am here to help you reach those goals. If you need to delegate some items off of your to-do list take some time to jot down what things you are doing that are keeping you from focusing on your gifts and email me.

 

Happy Thanksgiving & As Always Keep It Sunny!

Are You Still Living Healthy?

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2017 is almost over.

Did you keep your goal to live more healthy this year?

Don't feel bad if you went off track. As a busy entrepreneur, it can get really challenging to make healthy choices. Next week we will take a look at companies that offer healthy prepared meals delivered straight to your door. This might come in handy after eating all that Thanksgiving turkey. 

:)

Until then take a look at a previous post I wrote on fun options for staying healthy.

 

Keep It Sunny!

4 Reasons Why You Can't Get Anything Done In Your Business & How To Move Forward

Do you feel like this in your business?

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OR

Do you feel like this in your business?

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If you feel like the second photo then you are not alone.

According to a survey found on Small Biz Trends website, "72% of Small Business Owners Feel Overwhelmed".

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There could be a variety of reasons why we as entrepreneurs could be feeling this way.

Reason Number One:  There aren't any processes in place in your business!

Do you have specific tasks that you do to engage with prospective clients and after they become your client? If so take a moment to write down those tasks and begin to create steps toward a workflow. This will help you to get a visual on what repetitive steps you are doing in your business and create a streamlined process for doing it. If you need tools to help you visualize everything try MindMeister and Evernote.

Reason Number Two: You have shiny object syndrome!

I am always getting excited about whatever new training tool or workshop that pops up and then when something else comes along I head for that. I know that I am not alone in chasing the latest and greatest "shiny object" but this acronym for focus has been helping me tremendously; follow one course until success equals F.O.C.U.S. 

John Lee Dumas says this all the time and as you guys know I am a huge fan of his. The reason I love this acronym is that it helps me to stay laser-focused what I am currently working on and avoid "shiny object syndrome". Staying focused and not allowing myself to drift off the deep end helps me to be more productive in my business. If there is something that looks cool and interesting to me I just use tools like Pocket, Evernote Web Clipper or Clipular to capture the information for future reviewing.

Reason Number Three: You are too focused on the big picture!

 As entrepreneurs we get so excited about our big picture goals; hitting a certain dollar revenue or creating awesome products to sell to our clients. But we don't get so excited about doing the small routine daily tasks to get there. 

The hardest thing it seems to do as an entrepreneur is to: 

SLOW DOWN and BREAK GOALS DOWN!

But it must be done in order to achieve those big-picture goals. My system is very simple. I break tasks into daily to-do lists of 3 items or less. I use a notepad that I can physically cross things off as they are completed.  If other things get done that are outside of my 3 things then that is gravy on the biscuit. It may sound boring but it can be very exhilarating to see things finally get crossed off your list because you were able to just get it done!

Reason Number Four: You don't Reward Yourself!

Do you treat yourself like a prisoner? Well, that's not going to motivate you to get through a boring task. But if you knew that at the end of an exhausting project you have whatever your favorite thing to do waiting for you then it could make working on tasks that much more fun. After I am done writing this post I will shut down and watch a movie with popcorn. 

What about you? Do you have things that are preventing you from accomplishing your business goals? Share in the comments below.

KEEP IT SUNNYSIDE UP!

STRIPE PAYMENT PROCESSING SOLUTION FOR YOUR CLIENT PAYMENTS

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Your business is thriving and but you're having issues with faulty credit cards and making easy online payment solutions available for your clients. The technology is available and as it is true of most things in our world today: There is an app for that! Check out Stripe as a payment processing solution for your clients.  

An article posted by QuickBooks online states that, "Credit cards have evolved into one of the most common methods of consumer payment, with nearly 60% of U.S. consumers using cards over cash, according to a recent report by the Federal Reserve". It is important that as an entrepreneur that you provide a simple, easy and convenient tool for your customers to use. This will help them pay for your services easily and it will help you collect receivables more efficiently.

Stripe is a great payment solution that comes with a hosted page that is included in its price. This means your customers will not be taken away from your website to make a payment. Unlike PayPal which does have a hosted page but you must upgrade to their pro plan for that feature. Stripe isn't an invoicing program so you need to connect it to your bookkeeping software which is relatively easy.

The fees are comparative to PayPal. Both Stripe and PayPal both charge 2.9%+$.30 per transaction fees.  The major differentiators that I like are that Stripe has a hosted page for clients to go to for online payments, their fraud resolution tools are user-friendly, they integrate with many third-party apps like QuickBooks Online and they are cost competitive with other comparative options.

Give your customers another option to pay for your services online and check out Stripe to see if it can work for you.

Keep It Sunny!

8 IDEAS TO FIND YOUR IDEAL CLIENT

Do you know who's your ideal client or where to find them?

Have you heard catchphrases like, "Create your ideal avatar"?

Have you thought, "What in the world is an "ideal avatar" and how in the world do I create one?  According to Rich Brooks from Social Media Examiner, "You’ll want to create a fictional persona of your ideal customer, to the point of naming it, knowing how many kids it has or what it does on the weekends".

The point is to get so detailed that you can start to visualize what this person looks like and how you can best provide value-added services. If all this sounds completely overwhelming check out how John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire created his avatar named Jimmy. And once you figure out who your ideal avatar/client is, check out the infographic below for ideas on where to find them.

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Does all this talk of "avatars & ideal clients" make your head spin? You're not alone. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

KEEP IT SUNNY!

How to Grow Your Practice Using A Business Coach

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Are you stuck in your business? It's easy to get in a rut. You have all these ideas but start to feel the sense of overwhelm taking over and you become paralyzed. Well, maybe it's time to start using a business coach to help you get unstuck.

According to an article on BidSketch.com, "As a business owner, you can get in your own way a lot, and spend a lot of time in your head. So you need someone to pull you out of the funk". Check out 10 ways that using a coach can relieve you of getting stuck in your business and move you toward success.

What are some current issues you're facing right now that a coach can help you with? Share in the comments below.

 

Keep It Sunny!

IS IT TIME FOR A BUSINESS CHECKUP?

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We all get busy and if you are a team of one then it can get increasingly hectic to make sure your business is going in the direction you want. You might have a few sleepless nights wondering if your bookkeeping is in order or how to get the shoebox of receipts into your QuickBooks account.

What about writing out a future plan to grow your business? That probably fell by the waste side as you got focused on resolving a client issue. You might have thought about creating some sort of standard operating procedures for your business but got busy wearing your marketing hat. I get it.

Check out a previous post I wrote on this topic that pinpoints some areas to zone in on.  And share some of your administrative challenges in the comments below so we can collectively learn from each other.

 

KEEP IT SUNNY!

Top 3 Resources to Use For Answering Your Phones

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Are you ready to pull your hair out because you're missing calls while you're away taking care of a customer?

Or maybe you have thought of hiring a remote worker to handle your incoming calls so that your clients don't fall through the cracks.

Not sure what you should do?

Well check out the 3 resources below and bring some calm back to your life.

 

Red Ruby 

Red Ruby Receptionists offer live call answering in English or Spanish. The call handling experience is controlled by you. If you want them to take a message, forward a call to another line or even do outbound calls they provide this service with a concierge touch. Check them out here for more information.


Conversational Receptionists

Conversational Receptionists is a virtual receptionist provider of small businesses, medical offices, and legal firms. They offer a wide range of services such as responding to general inquiries, customer service, and appointment setting. They are based in Virginia and Canada. Check out their 30-day free-trial here.


Live Voice

Live Voice offers a wide variety of services that include lead generation, call center support, virtual receptionist and the list goes on. Their pricing plans seem reasonable and they sell themselves as a one-stop-shop. Check out all their services here to see how they can best assist you. 

 

Do you want to take the chance of losing customers or clients because no one was available to answer their call?

Save your time and sanity and let any of these 3 virtual receptionist service companies help you.

Have you had problems finding a good receptionist for your business? Share in the comments below?

 

KEEP IT SUNNY!

Are You Happy With Your Business?

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Starting and running a business is like giving birth and raising a child.

You give every ounce of love and care to it and watch it grow. But what if things are not going as planned? It maybe time to take a second look and diagnose the problem.

If you are in a business funk then it may be time to reinvent your business. Take a look at an article I wrote previously on how to do just that. 

We all get into a personal rut sometimes so quite naturally this can happen inside of our business. Just like Taylor Swift said, "Just Shake It Off" and move forward!

 

 

Keep It Sunny!

DO YOU MIX BUSINESS WITH PERSONAL EXPENSES?

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As small business owners who are usually wearing many hats we tend to do thing that overlap with our personal life: Go grocery shopping in the middle of the day after a business meeting, work while away on vacation with our family and make purchases with our company credit card for personal expenses.

WAIT!

WHAT WAS THAT LAST ACTIVITY????

We have all been there: We are at the register getting ready to make a personal purchase and decide that it doesn't matter which card we use because it's our business. I recently read a post on a forum that says as much:

Paying personal purchases on company credit card.

[I’m the sole owner of an s-corp and have an owner’s equity account. This months cc bill  has both personal and business purchases. I would like to pay off the credit card balance using $ from the company checking account.

For example :  I owe $150 on the cc, $25 for personal purchases and $125 for business purchases. What is the best way of dealing with this in QB.  Do I draw the $25 out of the owners equity account?]  

thx

This is disaster on a stick! Much like what the commenter below states:

[If this is a corporate credit card, this is called "commingling" and is mixing personal and business. Further explained, you are using the Corporate's finances for personal.

The rules for what type of activity is allowed for the movement of funds between the corporation and shareholders are very narrow. The whole point of having a corporation is the protection of Self from Business. Your personal assets and the corporation's assets and risks should be seperate. Once you commingle, there is no longer that separation. This is called "piercing the corporate veil."

If you do not honor this separation, why would an attorney or collection agency honor it ?]

I know life get's busy crazy but not paying attention to this small detail could cost you big time. I will be sharing some tools that you can use in the next few weeks that will make keeping track of this mundane tasks not such a pain.

Are you guilty of this? Share in the comments below.

 

KEEP IT SUNNY!

Is It Worth It To Go To Networking Events?

It was once said that it takes a village to raise a child.

I believe that it also takes a business village to grow a business. We can only do so much on our own that's why it's important to get out of our comfort zone and go meet other entrepreneurs. The best way to do that is by attending conferences.  According to Crunch.co, "54% of those who had attended a networking event agreed that networking “is very important for their professional development”.

I know what your thinking: I don't have time to attend conferences!!

It is easier than you think.

Introducing: Meetup

For those of you not familiar with Meetup it is a great online networking tool. You go on the site look for groups that have similar interests and join.

It's that simple.

I did just that and it led me to attending a conference in my own backyard called Amplify Live Experience which was amazing and led by a terrific guy by the name of Keith Yackey. I got a chance to hear nationally recognized speakers on all things entrepreneurship and I met some really cool like minded business people.

I even met one of my favorite podcasters Lewis Howes which I wrote about in a previous post. And got a chance to talk to a lot of people about my business and gain new insights and possible new clients. All this came from joining a local Meetup.

 

So do you think it is worth it to go to networking events? I would say absolutely YES!!

What do you think? Are you going to sit in a silo or go out and make new business friends and start telling people about how you serve others?

 

Keep It Sunny!

New Trends: Subscription Based Healthy Food Options

 

We are all so busy these days. And your clients may have a hard time finding healthy options to integrate into their daily meal planning schedules. Insert the solution: subscription based healthy eating services. Let's take a look at a few below:

Sun Basket

Sun Basket according to their website they are a "Subscription meal delivery service that ships members fresh organic, sustainable ingredients and recipes every month, allowing them to cook their own meals". 

Blue Apron

Blue Apron  "Is an ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service". They pride themselves on offering, " A better food system". This includes partnering up with local chefs, farmers, ensuring that waste is cut to a minimal amount and looking out for the ecosystem.

Green Chef

Green Chef is another healthy food based subscription service that prides themselves with having premium ingredients that are "More organic, more flavor and more options". You can check them out here.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh prides themselves on having "Delicious ingredients you'll love to eat & simple recipes you'll live to cook". You can check them out here.

All the healthy meal subscription services pride themselves on offering organic food choices, easy to follow recipes and some type of trial offer. 

So what do you think about the whole idea of healthy meal options delivered straight to your door? Do you think you or your clients will give it a try? I am going to try a few and share my thoughts on a future blog post.

KEEP IT SUNNY!

IS THINKING NEGATIVE AFFECTING YOUR BUSINESS??

We all have those people in our lives that cast a huge cloud of doubt on new ideas or rain on our parade. Have you stopped to think about how this is affecting not only your business but your emotional well-being?

Take a look at a post I wrote some time ago about this very subject. And share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

KEEP IT SUNNY!

3 Tech Tools You Can Use To Create More Freedom In Your Business

I hope you had a great 4th of July with your friends & family.

It is not a day to be taken lightly as we should all be very grateful for the men & women who have sacrificed their lives to make sure we can enjoy our freedom as Americans.

One part of that freedom is the opportunity to create the dream lifestyle we want as entrepreneurs.

America is the land of opportunity and being an entrepreneur allows us to take part in our "piece of the American dream". 

My question to you is: Do you feel free in your business or are you living a recurring nightmare with a growing to-do list of stuff not getting done?

Take a look at the 3 Tech Tools below that you can use to create more freedom in your business:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Contactually.com: This is a great CRM that helps you to manage all your client information in one place. Let's say you met a couple of great potential clients at a networking event and now you have a bag full of event promo pieces and those dreaded business cards. If you don't get those business cards out your goodie bag, follow up with the potential clients while everything is fresh then the trail goes cold and your time is wasted. Contactually allows you to dump all that information into their system in an organized way and manage that lead right onto a viable client and beyond to gain referrals. Check out the site here to see how it all works.

Communication

E-voice: What happens when a prospective client calls you? Do they call your cell phone, business line (if you have one) your business cell line? What if they just called one number and then the call was routed to you in the way you desire. That is the nexus of E-voice. E-voice provides you with a separate business number that rings to your cell, a professional greeting & call forwarding options so you look and sound professional. This will allow you to deliver that white glove experience to your customers. Check them outhere & use promo code "Fire" (thanks John Lee Dumas) and receive $5 off your subscription forever.

Healthy Eating Options

Sun Basket: Now I know your probably thinking how does this create more freedom in my business. Well if you are busy taking care of clients and running your business who is taking care of your belly? When do you have time to check out the latest healthy snacks or produce at the local farmers market? You probably don't have as much time as you would like, so let Sun Basket do all the heavy lifting for you. They deliver healthy organic ingredients weekly right to your doorstep. Check them out here and use promo code "Fire" to get a discount.

So there you have it. 3 tech tools that you can use to create more freedom in your business. Enjoy the journey as you carve out your piece of the American dream.

KEEP IT SUNNY!