The question "What projects are at the bottom of my TO DO list?" is a question that I asked myself many times both leading a growing department in a research (R1) higher education institution and also as a small business owner and they remained the same month after month. What were the reasons these projects couldn't get completed?
We want to ask you the same question "What projects are at the bottom of your TO DO list?".
If you are like most people who we have asked this question to, they pause (they know what the projects are but they are shy to say them) and so we probe them with the following three questions and then the flood gates open of projects.
1. What project(s) do you know you need to do but don't have the capacity to do them and also keep the day-to-day business going?
2. What project(s) requires expertise you don't have and either you don't have time and/or an interest to learn?
3. What project(s) requires research that you don't have staff and/or the capacity yourself to gather so you can analyze and make decisions?
We have discovered the secret sauce to get the bottom-of-the-list projects completed is to have someone focus 100% on the project and move it to completion. Remember some of the bottom of the TO DO list projects are catalysts for customer growth and/or being able to scale the business. Can you afford not to work on them?
We have the skills and expertise* to evaluate your project and prepare a work scope and tasks to have your project "get legs" and move off your TO DO list. We look forward to learning about your organization and how we can help you.
We have put together three monthly project scope levels to help us scope out your needs and help you get your projects completed within your budget.
Contact us today to let us know how we can help you at email@example.com or 612-819-7441.
*We have skills and expertise in project management, human resources, financial operations, grants management, strategic planning, developing training materials, change management, technology implementations, communications, marketing and content development. Resume and references available upon request.
With our entrepreneurial spirit and passion to see businesses and organizations successful, we are ready to work for you. For leadership positions you need to have back-filled, teams you need to get engaged, complex problems you need to solve and innovative solutions to be implemented, let’s get started. #yourvisionpossible
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-819-7441
We are inviting you to show your support for a one-of-a-kind virtual marketspace for Handmade in Minnesota with Love products and services.
Would you please register at this link to let vendors know you would like to meet them and purchase handmade Minnesota products and services on Saturday, March 20, 2021.
Please share this event and invite your favorite Minnesota entrepreneurs.
Many business owners have faced a lot of pressure from their customers, their employees, the government and their own expectations to keep their business open during the pandemic.
This pressure can become too much for anyone and now as we move into 2021 business owners may realize they are not ready for online opportunities to network with their customers and/or sell products and services.
These five preparations will allow you to be ready for online opportunities to build community, engage customers and develop online services. These preparations require minimal financial investments.
1. Get a Camera / Video Equipment
If you have a phone and another person, you are ready to create and publish photos and videos. If you don’t have another person, you will need to be creative with your camera or tablet by setting it on a ladder or bookshelf so it can see you while you take photos and/or record. Your phone camera and video are all you need to be ready to showcase your product and services to online customers.
2. Write your Business’ Solution
What problem does your business solve? Restaurants allow us to have a meal prepared by someone else. Retail stores give us an opportunity to touch and see products before we buy them. Car mechanics allow us to fix our broken cars. Make it fun and fresh for 2021 as you tell your online customers who you are and why you do what you do.
3. Online Point-of-Sale Solutions
Now is the time to develop your business to be online where people can purchase the products and services online. Implementing an online point-of-sale solution can seem like a large task but it doesn’t need to be. We encourage you to reach out to businesses who are doing it well and see what solution they are using. Typically, the point-of-sale platform offers demos and/or sales representatives to get you started.
4. Social Media / Website / Marketing
Who is your customer? Now more than ever you need to understand what is your customer’s lifestyle? Where do they get their information? If you are saying I don’t know how my customers get their information, start to think about their age demographic, family lifestyle and/or economic status. Yes, who knows, maybe the printed ad in a mailbox may be a good option right now. We do know people make purchase decisions based on reviews and/or word-of-mouth referrals. Encourage your customers to give you feedback and referrals.
5. Establish a Creative and Innovative Mindset
For some business owners, they knew how to make their business successful before 2020. They had to make some minor changes or maybe no changes to get through 2020. We congratulate you, however we are encouraging you to look closely at areas of your business that may not meet 2021 customer expectations. You may need to take this opportunity to be creative and innovate your business with technology. Is there a product that you could offer digitally? Are there customers that might like to see how you do what you do through a video? I have been known to look for videos to do almost anything from how to set a mousetrap to how to remodel my bathroom. Be transparent and authentic.
You aren’t alone in this season of change. Today is the day to embrace the use of technology to build community, engage customers and develop online services.
We highly recommend your local Chamber of Commerce and other business owners to become partners to building your business. We invite you to share your stories, fears and/or how we could help you at email@example.com.
As a former brick & mortar retail shop owner, I do know the importance of customers being able to shop for your products and services in the space you are paying rent to occupy. As an administrator of a large higher education department, I have spent the past few weeks preparing to have employees who are unable to work remotely return to a safe workplace. I did some reflection today about what would I do if I was still a retail shop owner. Here are the five questions that came to my thought process.
1. Why are you opening for the public?
This is a great question to make sure you believe your best option is to physically open to the public. Have you leveraged all electronic and/or curbside opportunities? I have heard fantastic ideas of business innovations from restaurants creating 'family meals' either pre-cooked or for you to cook at home to creating shopping via Facebook and/or a website. Last week I shopped a virtual vendor fair and actually bought a few items. This is your chance to be innovative and potentially increase your customer base.
2. Have you walked the customer experience to see how many ways they could possibly come in contact with shared surfaces?
The goal of the CDC guidelines are to ensure shared surfaces are clean and there are so many shared surfaces in a retail shopping experience. Your customers are going to want to have assurance that you are protecting them as they are shopping in your business. Pay close attention to how you will address door handles, carts, baskets, product racks, etc.. How will you maintain an inventory of disinfectant products?
3. Will you require masks?
This is an interesting opportunity to show your customers that you care about their safety. A mask is a simple way where people can protect the transmission and make other customers feel safe. We know some business are giving masks to their customers.
4. How will you address non-compliant customers to the CDC guidelines?
Have you thought through the conversation of a customers who isn't demonstrating an awareness of following the CDC guidelines for ensuring safety in your business? Signage that conveys expectations and consequences for those who don't follow social distancing and/or masks and/or other behaviors.
5. How will you handle if an outbreak happens in your business?
Your employees should be the priority for ensuring safety. If they become ill, it will be devastating to your business. You are creating risk to them by making the decisions to open to the public. Prepare yourself by talking with your attorney to ensure you know what will happen to your business if an outbreak were to happen. There are HIPAA regulations around sharing of medical information which could impact your decisions and how you talk to your customers.
See my previous blog post titled "Having Vision during the Pandemic - You've Got This!" which conveys that I know the stress you are under however I encourage you to think through the five questions in this blog post to consider if it is worth opening because the safety of yourself, employees, and customers is a priority.
We would like to be able to help you through this. I have recently established protocols for employees returning to work who are unable to work from home. Only employees that can't work form home should be working.
Please send us feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and how we could help you.
Dear Business Owners:
You've got this. Today is the first day after the past six weeks that I've been able to sit down and write this letter to you. I've been leading a team through an abrupt closure of our office and movement to remote working. Every day I've thought of you. You have set up a business with your passion, your own time and your own resources. Every day was hard enough without thinking there was a pandemic on the horizon. Of course, we watched movies about it and thought about it, but then one day we woke up and it wasn't a thought, it was reality.
I understand that your vision is masked with uncertainty right now. I know that you are grieving so much and that you have had to watch devoted employees have their world turned upside down. You've watched your financial situation be unstable. You've tried to be nimble and pivot but you are exhausted and can't see light at the end of the tunnel.
You are what inspires us to have jobs to have an income we can spend on your products and services. We still need you!
You are safe reading this blog and I would like to speak to you to grab a notebook and start to write your fears, your hopes and your vision. No, we can't go back to the way your business was. You will need to go deep and see your business in two phases, short term and long term. What resources are you wishing you had right now? Make the list. What are those products and services you have dreamed about? Dig them out of the trash or file cabinet and/or write them now. This could be your season to reinvent. What are some short term goals (including down sizing) that will allow you to reach your long term vision? Today is the first day for your fresh start.
As I write this I'm listening to music. Get your favorite music playing around you for inspiration.
From my heart to yours. Let me know what happens from this letter.
Your Vision Possible,
Meet Faith, Goenner Consulting, LLC and Heather, Envisioneering, LLC, who are professional development thought partners. Faith and Heather met when Faith gave up her ticket to a rural entrepreneurship conference. They connected and Faith became very interested in how Heather was impacting the success of her clients. Through Heather's work coaching Faith over the past year, here are the top 5 reasons Faith discovered why it was important for her to invest in her own professional development.
1. Discover what you are naturally good at doing.
Have you ever taken the time to find out exactly what job you are good at? Most of us just take a job and then we focus on our performance within this position. If we don't know our natural talents this could be frustrating if this job isn't a good fit for us. What if you could discover what you are good at and then go find the job that fits your natural talents?
2. Develop the skill to process feedback.
It takes bravery to take an assessment and then work on understanding the assessment results. All great innovation requires the skill to be able to process feedback. Investing in an assessment of who you are is a very easy way to process using feedback to make changes and/or improvements.
3. Identify your blind spots.
We all have blind spots. These are weaknesses that we don't see in ourselves, but they are clear to those around us. Without the opportunity to discover your blind spots, you could find yourself not performing well in your life, both personally and professionally. Being aware of your blind spots will give you an opportunity to mitigate risk and awareness to ensure successful performance.
4. Improve your supervising skill set.
When you invest in your own professional development, you increase your knowledge for leading and supervising your employees. It will give you new terminology and understanding for how you interact with your staff. This will create an opportunity for relationship improvements and successful outcomes.
5. If you don't invest in you, then who will?
Do you have an interest for promotion? Are you noticing that you may not be experiencing satisfaction in your career? Would you like to find the career that brings out the best in you? If you don't invest in your professional development, then who will?
Now is your time to invest in your career and your success. If you are a supervisor, this is a great opportunity to invest in your top talent. Discover Your How, Your Why and Natural Talents with Envisioneering, LLC on Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 8:00 am - 10:30 am with light refreshments at the beautiful Raven Room at the Pizza Pub in Princeton, Minnesota. The investment is $195. Space is Limited. RESERVE YOUR TICKET.
We are starting to accept work-for-hire. Below are two questions and a referenced business article regarding how our consulting business may help you.
What is an area of your business you are struggling with? What ideas do you have to work on this area? This is where Goenner Consulting, LLC can help. We will roll-up our sleeves and start to work with you on these areas so you can focus on running the business.
If necessary, bring in outside assistance to help implement the changes while you concentrate on other areas of your business. What's most important is that you use your new insight to take consistent, focused action toward strengthening your weaker spots. Your business will thank you.
Written by Faith Goenner, Goenner Consulting, LLC