By Ivette Mayo – Your POWER Advocate
Here in southeast Texas, we experienced the fury of Hurricane Harvey when it made landfall August 25, 2017. Resulting in what’s possibly is the worst disaster Texas has ever experienced. They say the recovery will take years. Everyone in Harvey’s path felt the impact instantly in their homes, communities and at work. Small-business owners will face many challenges in rebuilding. Taking the right immediate POWER steps post any disaster can make all the difference. About a quarter of small businesses will not reopen following a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said this rate could be as high as 40 percent. Entrepreneurs often overlook preparation for these rare events and focus instead on more pressing daily details, but taking POWER steps to prepare for the unthinkable can be the difference between surviving and failing. Here are POWER steps to consider now as you gear up to recoup or minimize losses to start your recovery process.
Check out SBA site
This is an immediate POWER step that connects you to valuable resources. The Small Business Administration will release a list of local resource partners who can help business owners. The resources will be available here, along with information regarding the SBA disaster loan program.
Call your insurance agent
Contact your insurance agent as soon as you can. The Insurance Information Institute has a step-by-step guide to help you prepare for the claims process and the adjuster’s visit. Have your policy number handy when you call. It’s crucial you file an insurance claim to document that a disaster occurred.
Organize your records
Gather and organize your business records, which will be helpful when dealing with your insurance agent or applying for disaster relief funding. If your records were destroyed, there are ways to reconstruct them.
- Collecting Invoices dating back at least a year
- Bank statements that can be used to track deposits and determine sales revenue
- Last year’s federal and state tax returns
- Purchase agreement, if you purchased your business from a broker
- Business contracts
Research recovery financing
The SBA’s disaster loan program provides low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. As a business, you may apply for up to $2 million in assistance, which will be made up of a business physical disaster loan that covers real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment, an economic injury disaster loan to cover working capital needs, or a combination. The SBA tries to make a decision on each application within two to three weeks. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, so submit yours as soon as you can.
Watch out for scams
Ask for identification and do your due diligence before working with contractors, business financial lenders or anyone offering assistance. Companies issue employees official photo IDs. Remember, there are not fees/charges associated for any services provided through any disaster assistance program.
Reach out to current customer list
Even through you have been impacted by the disaster, don’t assume your customers have been as well. Reaching out serves three purposes, one it gives you the chance to confirm your customer’s situation. Secondly, it gives you a chance to determine if you can continue to provide your products/services at the same level. And thirdly, this will gives you the chance to identify if you can offer additional value by increasing your service levels. A short email stating you are ready to serve can minimize losses.
Use Social Media to communicate
The POWER of Social Media continues to prove its strength. Reach out to your network as soon as possible to share that you are open and ready to serve makes sense. By canvassing your network, you continue to build a sense of community and it stabilizes your framework for the future. Through social media you continue to engage and build value. Remember social media increasingly play a pivotal role in disaster response, recovery and engagement.
The next disaster
Be it a natural disaster like a tornado or hurricane, equipment failure or even the death or illness of a key business owner or employee, it’s smart to be prepared for the worst.
Here are three POWER steps to prepare your small business for another disaster, an emergency situation or a major slowdown.
- Create an emergency fund – An emergency fund is money you’ve socked away to handle the unexpected. Instead of having to take drastic measures, such as laying off employees or paying vendors late, you can tap into these funds and replenish them when business gets back to normal. Aim to stash away at least 6 to 12 months of expenses.
- Open a business line of credit – Of course, not every small business — especially startups with limited operating histories — will be able to stash away 6 to 12 months of expenses. For additional access to capital, a business line of credit could come in handy while you build up your cash reserves.
- Make sure you’re properly insured – Small businesses can be protected from losses by the right types and amounts of insurance coverage, which can vary according to the type and size of each business. For example, if you own a building and equipment, you’re more likely to benefit from property insurance than would a business that’s run from a home office. Remember, there should be enough in coverage to replace the property owned by the business and cover the operating expenses of your business in the event you become disabled, plus cover the value of your ownership in the company.
“Not only does your business need to be able to survive a disastrous storm, but you need to have a strategy for when you are rebuilding your business!”
Creating POWERFUL and IMPACTFUL Results!
Ivette Mayo is the President of Yo Soy I AM, LLC, an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert and author. Visit her website www.ivettemayo.com Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support you to be POWERFUL in all that you do! Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
To schedule your one-on-one session with Ivette, simply send an email to [email protected]
Collaboration takes place when two individuals or a group of people work together towards achieving a common goal by sharing their ideas, resources, and skills. With increasing competition in the marketplace, it has become extremely important to encourage entrepreneurs to be open to collaborate in order to improve productivity and results.
Here are important aspects that collaboration brings to the table:
- Brainstorming – Collaboration allows people to come together on a common platform and work towards the achievement of a common goal by offering various perspectives to provide solutions.
- Providing Value – Working towards the same goal inspires people with a strong sense of shared purpose. When everyone sees value in working together as the common goal gives them a meaningful reason to work together and to gain mutual benefits for everyone involved.
- Equal Involvement- Collaboration provides every person with equal opportunities to participate and communicate their ideas and gain success.
Great things happen when collaboration takes place:
It Promotes Self-Analysis
Collaboration challenges people to think, articulate and receive clarity about their competencies. It serves as a mirror that gives them a glimpse of their strengths and weaknesses. Remember, two heads are always better than one.
It Results in Problem Solving
When a variety of knowledge and skills are pooled, it creates a talent pool that is vast and more competent, able and experienced.
It Makes You Look at the Bigger Picture
No two people are the same, and when you have several people from different backgrounds working for you, you will need to know how to leverage those differences and identify how they can complement each other.
Essentially, you learn new things from each other.
It Allows for Cross Promotion
Cross promoting each other business, website or your social media platforms is a great way to grow everyone’s audiences.
“You know when you have achieved success, because you realized what you
wanted and brought someone with you.” – Ivette Mayo
Ivette Mayo is an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert, speaker and author. Visit website www.ivettemayo.com Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support you to be POWERFULLY SUCCESSFUL. Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
By Ivette Mayo
The time has come to become UNSTUCK. There are no more excuses. No longer do you need to delay the things you need achieve. Whether it’s in your business, work, love, spiritual growth, or any other aspect of your life— being stuck is frustrating. You are stationary, yet the world around you is moving and progressing. Being stuck is no fun and has the potential to derail you indefinitely. Knowing this, why aren’t you doing everything in your POWER to remove yourself from this nonproductive state? I know what is holding you back, you don’t know how!
A good place to start is to figure out what kind of state of “stuck” you are in. It’s important to get clear on why you are distracted? Identify what emotions are moving you further away from your goals? What is really keeping you from making real progress? What turns great opportunities in a big mass of uncompleted tasks? The time to shift your thinking and move yourself to ignite the proverbial fire is at hand.
Try these 5 simple steps to help you make the leap.
- Ask for HELP!
People often feel that they need to do everything alone. But no one ever does everything alone. Oprah didn’t build her network alone and Bill Gates didn’t build his empire alone. It’s important to remember to seek support when you need it. Create an exchange with a friend, mentor or hire a coach who has some expertise in the area where you are being challenged. Connect the dots and share your challenge with them. Ask for help. Seek clarity!
- See the Challenge as an Opportunity
When you focus on what’s wrong, you are likely to continue more of the same negative thinking. Look for what you can find that is right about the situation. Does it open you up to a new network of people? Will you be able to acquire new resources or obtain a hidden lesson? When you begin to see “a gain” in the situation — you will progress. You will begin to see with the eyes an opportunity, which will allow you to see a way around obstacles. Changing your filters!
- Modification of Your Daily Unchanging Routine
As creatures of habit, there’s a tendency to run on autopilot. Stop the insanity – doing something over and over again and expecting a different outcome. If you find yourself stuck, try mixing up your existence. Break up daily activities by adding new one. Go for a walk outdoors instead of hitting the gym for a high-impact cardio workout. Sign up for a seminar. Pick up a new audiobook and listen to it while you drive home instead of listening to news. Meditate twice a day for 30 minutes instead of once a day for 10 minutes. By switching things up a bit, allows you to access different parts of your brain, which can increase your awareness and intensifies creativity.
- Be Honest With Yourself
Many people sabotage their own process, consciously or unconsciously, as a result of deep-seated fears, negative thoughts and limiting beliefs. Whenever you aren’t able to achieve your goals it’s because there’s a discrepancy between what you say you want and what you’re actually experiencing. Be honest with yourself about what it is you’re trying to accomplish and ask yourself if it’s really what you want. You will be surprised with you results. There is a real connection between what you think, say, believe and outcomes. Change you words – Change your results!
- Take Action Every Day
The choices you make every moment of every day truly do matter. When you choose to take positive progressive steps to do little things every day that are in the direction you want to go, you make progress even when essentially you don’t see any immediate gain. It is in those small things, the ones that seem so insignificant, that become compounded over time, and before you know it, you have achieved your goals. Choose small steps!
Creating POWERFUL and IMPACTFUL Results is what I desire for you.
Check out “A 30 Day Guide to your POWER” – Powerful Outcomes through Powerful Results” on GOW Media http://gowmediapublishing.com/products/a-30-day-guide-to-your-power
Ivette Mayo is an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert and author. Visit her website www.ivettemayo.com Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support women to be POWERFUL. Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
You are sitting there with a pile of reports in front of you and you are trying to prioritize which will get your attention first. You take a deep breath and close your eyes. There comes a moment when you think to yourself “I had enough. It is time to go.” You get up and head down the hall. Then, you wipe the sweat off your brow produced from the quick walk you forced yourself to take to clear your mind. Your rational mind speaks up and shouts “You need this job. Sit down and get to work.” Many of you can relate to that moment on the ledge when you realize that you lacking the passion and motivation to continue. But you do, because there are a thousand reasons why you cannot leave – yet. Deep from your emotion storage locker, the dream of you running your own successful business venture pops back into view. Two things are apparent here; you have to stop talking to yourself and stop rejecting the possibility of pursuing your dream or purpose.
Success can happen by taking some very important steps towards achieving your greatest potential – your own business. It will require that you take steps to help you in learning new skills and to gain confidence. It is about establishing the right mindset for growth. We can choose to stay or you can choose to create a plan for yourself that reinforce and motivate you to build your DREAM. It takes time and effort.
Here are a few things that you can do to get closer in making your dream a reality.
Tell someone about your DREAM
Words have power and intention. It is time to have some serious conversations surrounding what your dream is with others. It starts with opening you mouth to share your concept with a “trusted few”. The more you hear yourself say it out loud, the more it starts to sound real. And believe me when I say a trusted few. Trusting others with your DREAM is hard, you can ask them to sign a “non-disclosure agreement” to keep what is being share confidential, which provides you legal recourse if they do breach your confidence.
Stretch yourself every day outside of your comfort zone
Warning – Stretch means change. There are countless learning opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to attend outstanding business workshops and seminars. There is such a thriving environment everywhere that cultivates new businesses. Learning is taking place every day in person and online. There are no excuses in locating the right informational workshop to help you improve your skills and gain industry insight that will benefit you. Start your search now.
My 25 years corporate career served me well. I was able to use these experiences as part of the foundation for my business startup, but there were things I did not know about running my business full time. I had to be willing to identify my weaknesses and admit “ I don’t know what I don’t know.” I had to place myself in a position to search for information, financial resources and tools. I turned to organizations like the University of Houston Small Business Development Center, the local Small Business Administration and other local business organizations and chambers. There is something always going on that can help small business owners succeed. If you are willing to learn, there is an expert ready to help in your local city.
Locate a business coach or business development consultant
This is a big one – getting help! If you remember you have been talking to YOURSELF for a long time. By allowing experts to analyze your DREAM through their filters can be daunting at first, yet valuable. A coach or consultant is an important part of a small business owner’s game plan. Whether it’s to help you to manage SEO efforts, accounting, or content production, these people help ease much of the stress associated with managing these tasks. They become your cheerleader, your task master, your sounding board and your guide. In short, they are there for you — to support and push you to achieve you’re your success. And they truly have your best interest in mind.
A quick note, if you choose to work with a coach or consultant, make certain they can provide you with authentic certifications, a verifiable business track record, niche, costs and referrals before you write a check. There are too many people calling themselves “coach” or “expert”. Yet, they have never run a business nor taken their products to market. This extra step will save you countless headaches later.
Obtain information in the industry you desire to enter
As an entrepreneur two of your biggest resources are time and money. You cannot afford to waste either. Increasing your industry knowledge gives you a competitive advantage and assists you in the growth of your business. In addition to learning as much as possible about the history of your line of business, ensure that you update yourself on the current trends and the latest news in your industry. It will truly serve you to schedule time for industry education and research. Make this an important component of your professional growth.
I know when I started my second business venture – a unique line of stationary called Yo Soy Expressions. I didn’t know anything about the stationery business outside visiting the local drug store and looking for the right card category to make my purchase. I was tasked with learning how products are manufactured and who produces them? What are the advantages of buying materials wholesale? Where are the buyers for my potential products? Who will my products best serve? How will I monetize this idea? I had to be willing to venture outside of my comfort zone to gain industry knowledge to launch my products and be competitive.
Create a PLAN of Action – Short and Long Term
“What gets written, gets done.” – It is important to remember these words. The components of a strong action plan or better yet a business plan is your roadmap to success. Remember, your idea has to move from an idea/dream to a productive revenues generating entity. It is going to take lots of action to develop each possibility. It starts with writing down ideas; create structures and outlining tactical strategies on how your business will operate to ensure your vision. Short and long action goals will serve as a benchmark of your progress. Each completed task becomes an indication that you are getting closer to your grand opening. Remember the plan will help provide a clear vision, structure and increase the probability for success.
Your dream is possible. It will take sharing first. Then trusting, learning and when you are really ready, taking action. Don’t waste any more time!
Ivette Mayo is an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert and author. Visit website www.ivettemayo.com Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support women to be POWERFUL. Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Evaluate the Money – Entrepreneurs Building Success into Your Business
In the past, women may have once been characterized and encouraged into certain professions, but no longer are they simply expected to do gender-specific jobs. The sky is the limit to what women can do today. I love seeing professional women taking control of their careers and future in a way that works best for them. This includes when and how they pursue their dreams and start their own businesses.
Every woman has the ability to start a business that’s significant to them. We are no longer regulated to old mindsets and traditional roles. What women are passionate about has become more important. Women need to be encouraged and supported to tap into what they’re good at and what makes them feel strong and POWERFUL! And, making money at it and little fulfillment doesn’t hurt! It is important to find resources that will help you get started.
As to what kind of business should you start, it’s up to you. Once you decide to head out on your entrepreneurial journey, you will have many other decisions to make that will require some research.
What are you going to call your business? How do you find out of if there is another other business with your name? What does it take to operate a business like yours? Does your city, county, or state have licensing, certificate requirements or other regulation’s needed to operate your business? Is there a need for your business or are you creating a need? Who are your ideal customers and how are they going to find your business? Will they pay for your products/services? Questions like these are will have to be answered. You don’t want to be in business for a while and find out you didn’t do everything necessary such as these business startup basics. You will find you created some hurdles for yourself and now may face additional costs.
Real Money Talk
If you have no savings, no money and bad credit, you should not start a business. I suggest saving up 20 to 30 percent per paycheck for a year before begin your business. These funds will be needed for startup costs, such as licenses, certificates, registrations and many other items you have not planned for yet. There are several other options to consider too, like using someone else’s money to get started – a small business loan or angel investor. Make note, all of these options require a strong business plan, not just a passionate idea.
Where to start
Building a business from the ground up is challenging no matter how you look at it. Ultimately, you should love what you do. Start with something you to do well and are passionate about. Then identify details about running your business and general costs. These factors will serve as a driving force in your success. You have to maximize your knowledge and skills about the product or service you can provide. Most important, not letting passion be your only fuel. Knowledge will provide sustainability.
If starting a business from the ground up is not an option. You may want to consider purchasing an existing business, franchise, multi- level marketing or direct sales business. Those business types already have products and systems in place. You just need to learn those systems to be successful. When considering investing into a MLM or direct sales business, make certain it fits your lifestyle and does not have recurring cost(s) that you cannot manage long term.
One factor to consider is how technology has transformed our ability to start a business. No longer is a storefront needed. Depending on your business, your marketplace is online and can be local, national and global. Research costs and functionality of website development your business will need. Yes, there are free options out that you can use to “BUILD YOUR OWN”. They are tempting! Check out all your options first. The costs due vary. I would always encourage you to use other women-owned business or small business owners that can build your website and brand. check out www.localmarketingsuite.com and www.fenixcreatives.com You can even go to sites and request bids from various vendors too www.freelancers.com
Another cost effective way can be to explore your options via social media platforms. Many small business owners promote their business to their networks via on Facebook and Instagram. These options are FREE, but require lots of attention and effort on your part.
This is one of the hardest things you will have to do. The secret to business success is pricing your products right. Price your products and services correctly and it will enhance how much you sell. Most importantly, it is the foundation for a prosperous business. Get your pricing strategy wrong and you may create problems that your business may never be able to overcome Today, far too many times I come across business owners that struggle with pricing their products/services correctly. Being in business to lose money is not your goal.
Consider two quick exercises to help you get started.
- Competitive Analysis – Seek out businesses in your area (competitors) and review what they are charging for your similar products and services. Plus, what makes them unique.
- Costs Analysis – Determined your breakeven costs. Review those costs to produce the product or service for increases. Estimate your earnings.
Meet Sara – She loves to bake. She has decided to start a specialty cake business from home. She is not certain what she should charge. She purchases all her supplies from the local stores
Sara’s Specialty Cake Expenses
- Cost of supplies per cake $6
- Electric/Gas $3
- Time to produce 90 minutes x Hourly rate $10 (Your time has value.)
- $23 is your break even costs for one specialty cake
Based on her breakeven cost, Sara will have to charge more than $23 per cake to recover her expenses. Please note, she has not made a profit yet. Retail pricing principles recommend that you double or triple your cost. This means Sara should charge $46 or $69 per cake or reduce her cost to get started. Sara’s cake better be more than delicious at that price.
Manage Costs Upfront
Minimize spending on your supplies. Figure out where and how to buy direct from suppliers, purchase items wholesale or in bulk. Your job will be to SAVE money not just make money.
Customer Payment Behaviors
You have to have a clear understanding on how your customer pays. Most people today do not carry cash on hand. Learning about POS for small businesses or online payment solutions is important. PayPal or Square are just a few options. Remember these services providers have fees attached to them. Factor those costs as part of the costs of doing business.
Find a TRUSTED Adviser
These are people who will help you succeed, that you trust to support or lend a hand to get the business started. You will not have all the answers, the more receptive you are to learning from others, the more you and your business will grow! Especially when it comes to following the money. I know for me this was hard. I have always been challenged with trusting others and managing money. Allowing others to step into my business really at times was very emotional for me. My reality check came when I had to tell myself I am not good at everything and I had to get help. I had to let a trusted advisor in to help me be successful. Getting a trusted advisor such as an accountant helped me monitor expenses, pay taxes and stay on top of all those accounting functions that are critical to your business. You have to follow the money!
If you are currently in business, I am hopeful the information provided can serve as a quick reminder of what you should be doing. Especially when it comes to pricing and check in on the competition. For the aspiring entrepreneur, it is time to JUMP and take that leap of faith – Believe in yourself and your purpose. Most importantly, learn to be financial competent when it comes to your money. You future business depends on it.
Ivette Mayo, is an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert and author. Visit website www.ivettemayo.com
Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support women to be POWERFUL. Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
A progressive, innovative, honest, and unapologetic leader that desires to teacher; and whose purpose is to serve others to walk in their POWER daily!
To assist in turning challenges into possibilities for learning and positive change in life and business. To stir up the desire for greater collaboration and increase sharing among women. Most importantly, stir up productive and profitable change in you – Personally and Professionally!
Who Am I?
I truly love this stage in my life. Each day is filled with new and rewarding experiences. I love my work and the ability to help people connect to skills, information and tactical strategies they need to GROW their business and interests. I enjoy sharing tips and lessons learned along the way. By keeping your success in the forefront, opens me up to share valuable business and leadership skills and mynetwork of POWERFUL Innovators!
I am an Award winning Entrepreneur. Business Strategist, Leadership Expert, and Author
Founder of Power On Heels Network and the POWER of I on Facebook
And I cannot forget, I LOVE POLKA DOTs!
What You Can Expect
I want to commit my energy to provide content that will help you to – Be Better and Do Better!
Remember everyone needs these topics like these to last in today’s changing marketplace. I am prepared to bring these valuable topics and many others to you through my blog. But you have to make one commitment right now. You have to be ready to plug into your POWER!
- Developing your Powerful Language
- Asking for WHAT you WANT and NEED
- Toot Your Own Horn
- Increase your Tolerance for RISK
- And so much more
This space will allow me the opportunity to share what will your move the needle – upward. I cannot wait to share my suggestions and guidance with you!
Ready – Set – GROW!