Posts in Goal

Success is Personal

July 11th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Goal 2 thoughts on “Success is Personal”

While recording an episode of the Business is ART podcast (airing Tuesday, July 17 at 7pm), my guest, Donerik Black, and I discussed the importance of knowing what success means to you before launching a business, a career, or taking whatever that next leap of faith may be.

Donerik is a Business Consultant and Managing Partner at Jasper Browne LLC. He is also an entrepreneur himself and is the former director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) that was formerly located at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

In other words, he has worked with his share of entrepreneurs and has seen a thing or two.

A heartbreaking reality

I shared with Donerik the experience of meeting with some students from Urbana University that had been asked what success meant to them. One of the students explained how much being asked that question meant to him because no one had ever asked before.

The reality is, many people, perhaps most people, are never asked that question, so it is no big surprise that when they ARE asked, they often have no answer that readily comes to mind.

Many of us are just going through the motions – perhaps dreaming about things, but not really having a clear idea of what success means. So it’s also no big surprise that so many people feel less than satisfied with life or their current situation.

It’s personal

Success is personal. Define it on your own terms – no one else’s. Try to think beyond money, toys, and career, although there is nothing wrong with including them in your definition of success.

There is no better time to start than when you are a student just beginning to explore and learn. But there is also no time that is too late to begin.

Plan Canvas provides you with a tool that you can use to begin defining success on your terms.

Plan Canvas for Individual is a free personal development planning and management tool that you can use to pave your way to success in your career, current job, personal/family life, and, optionally, spiritual life.

Start planning today, but begin by defining what success means to you

How to Focus On Today With an Eye On The Future

July 3rd, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Goal 0 thoughts on “How to Focus On Today With an Eye On The Future”

We recently received the following email:

“Hello, Mr. Umstead. My name is Tarik Woods. I currently attend Wright State University, studying communications. I am reaching out because I am interested in interviewing you on my talk show [on campus]. I work in the New Media Incubator at Wright State where, this past semester, you spoke to Dr. Ashley Hall’s digital media and writing course students [on creativity at work]. I just finished reading your book, Business is ART, and can honestly say I am inspired.”

Thank you for the kind words, Tarik, but it is the Plan Canvas team that is inspired by students like you.

Focused on today with an eye on the future

School, be it high school, trade school, college, continuing adult education, etc., can be an over-whelming experience. Most students enter school specifically because they envision a future that is full of opportunity and the option to do something important, something that interests them, or both.

But for many, once in school, the tasks at hand, such as studying, getting good grades, and graduating, can become so overwhelming that it is easy to lose sight of the reason for being there in the first place – to create a better future.

But not Tarik.

He is focused on today with an eye on the future. He is putting in the work that he needs to for school, but finding ways to do it that will enable his future – such as the production of his podcast and his radio show, both of which are called “Words With Woods.”

Tarik plans to take the experience he is gaining now and apply it to his career or business post-graduation.

It starts with a vision and a plan

It all starts with a vision and a plan. Even if you feel buried in school work (or your job), it is important to make time to solidify your vision (career, life, business, etc) and begin developing plans for getting there, like Tarik is doing.

You don’t have to plan to be an entrepreneur, but these 6 Steps for Becoming a Successful Student Entrepreneur (from Entrepreneur magazine) provide a great guide for anyone with an eye on the future. They are:

  1. Evaluate your business skills, knowledge and goals.
  2. Find the business idea that suits you best.
  3. Research your competitors (and prepare to crush them).
  4. Make a stellar business plan.
  5. Seek out a helpful mentor.
  6. Register your business, open up shop and rock it.

There are just a couple of slight adjustments we would make to these 6 steps. First, if you are planning to go into business, register your business much earlier in the process. It should be one of the first things you do.

Second, don’t jump straight to a “stellar business plan”. Do this instead of Step 4:

  1. Document your vision, mission, and purpose.
  2. Assess today’s reality.
  3. Develop a long-term strategy for closing the gap between reality and your vision – this can be in the form of a Personal Development Plan, a Business Strategic Plan, or, preferably, both.
  4. When you are getting ready to get serious about launching your business, “make a stellar business plan” that is simple, measurable, and manageable.

Here is a free and easy place to start

Click here to register for Plan Canvas for Individual.

It provides you free access to the Plan Canvas software for developing your very own Personal Development Plan, where you will develop and track long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals and objectives, as well as track the actions you take in order to achieve them.

Contact us if you need the services of a coach/consultant to help you along (a fee applies).

But whatever you do, focus on today with an eye on the future. Make the time. Turn the discipline into a habit.

Quit Calling Objectives “Goals” – Just Quit It

January 22nd, 2018 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Business is ART, Goal, Objective 0 thoughts on “Quit Calling Objectives “Goals” – Just Quit It”

This might be a little nit-picky, but, there is a difference between goals and objectives. Goals, by nature, are not particularly SMART…you know:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

These are actually the characteristics of well-defined objectives. You measure your progress toward achievement of goals through objectives. Objectives support goals.

We said that goals are not particularly SMART. That is more than just a cute play on words and acronyms. Goals are more of a destination – more like an “Are we there yet?”

SMART objectives invite you to be realistic and in a hurry. Goals invite you to dream big and be more concerned with the getting there than the speed with which you do.

That’s why we take a little bit of umbrage with this article at Entrepreneur entitled Set Goals for Your Employees. Don’t get us wrong, we completely agree with setting goals for employees.

And at the risk of sounding a little Sheldon Cooper-ish, we actually do agree with the content of the article – as long as you substitute the word “objective” in 95% of the instances the article actually uses the word “goal.”

With that in mind, here are a few comments on the main points/recommendations of the article:

  1. “Set goals with employees” – Yes! We love it. This is part of including your employees in developing the strategy. It adds buy-in and promotes an environment in which employees are engaged.
  2. “Reevaluate goals frequently” – No! Not unless you frequently change your mind about where you want to go (a goal is a destination). But do frequently evaluate objectives.
  3. “Make goals specific and measurable” – No! Goals are decidedly grandiose and not measurable in themselves. Make supporting objectives SMART which includes their being specific and measurable.
  4. “Goals don’t have to be tied to sales” – Correct! Nor profits. We like value-based goals as opposed to profit and sales driven goals. Focus on the types of goals that will really get employees engaged in the business on an emotional level.
  5. “Make sure employees goals are attainable” – No! Goals are big and lofty. Never measure an employee’s performance based on big, lofty goals. Rather, do it on objectives, which, yes, should be attainable.
  6. “Be consistent” – Absolutely. And you can start by consistently not misusing the word “goal” in place of the word “objective.”
  7. “Watch your timing” – Wrong! Not for goals. They are long term. Objectives are time-bound.
  8. “Avoid rivalry” – Ehhhh….this one feels a little like “everyone gets a participation trophy.” A little FRIENDLY rivalry in-house can be healthy. Just don’t allow it to create clicks and jerks.
  9. “Set goals that tie employees into the success of your company” – Correct! Set objectives that tie employees into the success of your company.

This might all sound a little nit-picky, but it is important to remember the distinction between goals and objectives. Know the difference and plan accordingly.

PUT IT TO USE!

Reach Your Goals with Measurable Objectives

Now that you know the difference between “Goals” and “Objectives”, let’s put that knowledge to use! Plan Canvas helps you identify, communicate and track goals, objectives, initiatives, action items and more in one convenient, easy to access, easy to use tool.

Do Employees Really Need a Sense of Purpose?

January 18th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Goal, Objective, Strategic Planning, Strategy, Uncategorized 1 thought on “Do Employees Really Need a Sense of Purpose?”

“Executing a strategy without engaged people is impossible, and brilliant strategies without execution are meaningless.”

That’s how an article at Inc., entitled Why Strategy Without Execution Will Get You Nowhere begins.

It’s like we wrote that ourselves. In fact, we have written very similar statements on numerous occasions. Want to know why? Because it’s true.

It’s mid-January. By now, a large percentage of New Years resolutions have already been long forgotten. That’s true in business as well as personal life. Businesses often end the year giddy with the excitement about the new plans and strategies they’ve developed for the new year.

“We’re going to do great. We’re going to increase sales and profits. We’re going to hire new, fresh talent. We’re going to…”

Sometimes actual targets or objectives accompany those statements. Sometimes they’re followed by statements that start with “And here’s how we’re going to do it.”

But what’s often missing is, “Here’s why we’re going to do it,” or “Here’s why it’s imperative that we do.”

Let’s use the Plan Canvas purpose statement as an example

Simply put, we want businesses to increase their odds of success and do better. Why?

Because even a modest improvement in business performance will make a tremendously positive impact on the economy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and take us that much closer to improving lives and eliminating poverty.

Value-based vs. profit-driven goals

Setting value-based goals is one way to improve employee engagement. Watch our 2 brief videos on the topic.

Is it a coincidence that the reported percentage of disengaged employees is almost the same as the failure rate of strategic plans?

The American Management Association (AMA) reports more than 60% of strategies are not successfully executed. A Gallup poll indicated that only 32% of employees in the United States were engaged in their work in 2015, virtually flat over the 31.5% reported in 2014.

Let’s see – there’s a 60% failure rate in strategy execution, while the employee disengagement is rate is 68%.

Coincidence?

There has to be SOME kind of purpose

Perhaps the answer to the high failure rate of strategies is to simply give employees a greater sense of purpose.

The purpose for any business doesn’t have to be big and lofty nor world changing. It can be almost anything. But it has to be SOMETHING because that sense of purpose is what you need in order to get your employees excited and engaged.

If the only sense of purpose they feel is “to put money in the pockets of someone other than myself”, they aren’t going to be very engaged. If they aren’t engaged, you are on your own and the strategy will fail.

If You Know Better Do Better

January 10th, 2018 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Goal, Objective 0 thoughts on “If You Know Better Do Better”

We recently heard the story of a hard-working retail cashier, stressed from the holidays, managing to keep her cool in the face of rude customers.

One particularly disrespectful customer reflected on his actions, returned to the store, and fell just short of an apology by saying, “That wasn’t your fault. I know better.”

A genuine apology for his behavior would have been better, and perhaps would not have resulted in this response from the cashier, “If you know better, do better.”

That’s really some great advice for all of us. If we know better, lets do better.

Not another list!

We don’t need to give you yet another list of the things you can be doing better on, be they professional, personal or societal things. There’s no shortage, so pick a few that are most important to you and run with them.

An article at the New York Times entitled How to Do Things Better in 2018 lists and describes 10 things you can focus on (and why), but then goes on to provide links to unique pieces that actually get in to HOW to do better on that particular item.

The article focuses mostly on personal, but also on a few professional areas, such as “How to Build a Successful team.”

Guess what the first step is?

If you guessed, “Make a Plan,” you guessed correctly.

More to the point, the article says, “You need a clear and measurable goal for what you want to accomplish.”

We agree with the intent of that statement, but we are also a little nerdy when it comes to using terminology. You really need clear and measurable OBJECTIVES that support your loftier GOALS. Goals in and of themselves are more of a destination, otherwise, not really measurable beyond “Are we there yet?’

But all nerdiness aside, make a plan and make things measurable. But to that point, make it actionable.

Keep it Simple…Seriously (we object to calling anyone “stupid” so “seriously” is a good substitute)

Meanwhile, Inc. has posted an article entitled 3 Simple Habits I’m Making in 2018 to Drive Better Results. In it, the author’s 3rd simple habit is “Discipline through simplicity,” and, again, we couldn’t agree more.

Plan Canvas is built on the “KISS” model – Keep it Simple, Seriously. So often we just make things too complicated. Take a look at the things you do and ask yourself how you can simplify. Challenge yourself and your team. Make a game of it. There is always a way.

As the new year gets going….

We all know we CAN do better. And as the cashier said, “If you know better, do better.”

That’s the kind of simplicity we can live with.

Great Ideas for 2018 – A Resolution Revolution

December 19th, 2017 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Goal, Inspiration, Strategic Planning 0 thoughts on “Great Ideas for 2018 – A Resolution Revolution”

Let’s make 2018 the year of the resolution revolution. No more empty promises that fizzle out within the first 2 to 6 weeks. Let’s get serious this time.

An article at The Balance entitled Top New Year’s Resolutions for Business Success has some easy, actionable ideas that we really like a lot, particularly:

  • Make business planning a weekly event
  • Set realistic goals
  • Join a new business organization or networking group
  • Give something back to your community

Of course we like them because they are essentially some of the basic premises on which Plan Canvas is built. Let’s take a look at them a little more closely.

Resolution 1 – Business planning as a weekly event

Honestly, as much as we love business planning, doing it weekly may be a bit of an over-reach. But there are some things relative to the business plan that really should be done weekly. Namely:

  • Review progress against both the strategic and the business plan on a weekly basis. Note, some objectives may only require monthly or quarterly progress checks.
  • Review progress against assigned action items, internal initiatives, and client projects.

Whatever you do, do not write a business plan that is never referred to, tracked against, or updated. Otherwise, you are missing out on the primary benefits of strategically managing a plan – greater results.

Resolution 2 – Set realistic goals

Again, if we are being completely honest, we are OK with setting goals that might seem a little “out there.” Goals should be big, lofty things. Add a dose of reality but think and dream big when setting goals.

Now objectives are another story. Objectives let you know how you are progressing toward goals. One objective may support many goals and one goal is likely to be supported by many objectives. By nature, objectives should be realistic.

In fact that is one of 5 characteristics of a well defined SMART objective:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Achievable
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time-bound

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Resolution 3 – Join a new business organization or networking group

There are two primary types of groups we highly encourage you to join. One is a business networking group. The other is a peer mastermind group.

Networking groups are focused on growing your business through referrals. In these types of groups you get to know others on a more personal level, building relationships to the point that you mutually, genuinely refer each others’ business, products or services to others – key because it is also your reputation on the line when you refer others to people in your own network.

Peer mastermind groups, are not networking groups at all. They are work groups designed to help members resolve business and personal issues that affect the business. A well run mastermind group “rolls up the sleeves and gets to work.” It is not about socializing over cocktails and business referrals.

Resolution 4 – Give something back to your community

We saved the best for last. Giving back through your business is called “Corporate Social Responsibility” or CSR. Formally defining a CSR program for your business, no matter what size, actually increases your odds of success.

We call it setting value-based goals as opposed to profit-driven goals. When you focus CSR goals, then employee goals, then customer goals, your profit goals will naturally follow and you will feel much more fulfilled.

Resolution 5 – Be intentional in 2018

The year 2018. Here it comes. What will you do? Will you wait and see what happens, or will you intentionally lay out a plan and go after it?

Should I Sell My Successful Business?

June 7th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur, Goal, Strategy 0 thoughts on “Should I Sell My Successful Business?”
Rush

If you choose not to decide…

Sell the business?

When an entrepreneur starts off, they’re often so concerned about whether or not their business will succeed that they don’t know what to do when it actually does succeed. So many authors and motivational business speakers focus solely on starting out and facing challenges and achieving success.

But what happens when you actually achieve that success?

You’re suddenly faced with brand new challenges and options.

How do you keep your business growing? Do you actually want it to grow more? Where do you go from here? Should you sell the company?

To some, that last question might seem crazy. You went through all of this work, you achieved your goals, all just to sell it? For others, that might be why you started the business in the first place.

Whether or not that was part of your original plan, the ability to sell your company for a nice profit is a new option for you to consider. To decide the right choice for you, there are a few things to consider.

Is There an Offer on the Table?

Shopping a business around isn’t easy. Even if it is successful. It takes work. According to studies, 60% of business owners who try to sell their business can’t make the deal happen (you have better odds by employing the services of a merger’s & acquisitions banker/expert).

It’s generally easier if you receive an offer from a party that sought you out. With an actual offer on the table, the question of selling your business becomes much more real (and perhaps more urgent).

Have You Lost Your Passion or Are You Simply Struggling with Motivation?

To get your business going, it’s likely you needed some serious passion and motivation. As the craziness of the startup life dissipates and your business becomes more of a regular job, it’s easy to begin to lose the passion, the motivation, or both.

If you’re just lacking the motivation, that’s an issue that goes beyond your current business. Motivation is needed to succeed in any aspect of life. If you’re missing passion, it might be time to sell your business.

Without passion, your heart isn’t in the business, which can seriously stunt its growth. Letting go of your current business may allow you to find something new that you’re passionate about.

Do You Know What Your Next Step Will Be?

As you might imagine, leaving your business behind is a huge transition. This is the thing you’ve lived and breathed every day for quite some time. With that gone, you can become directionless very quickly.

If you have no idea what you would do without your business, you may want to hold off on selling it.

Unless, of course, you make enough money from the sale that you can retire. Even then, making some plans and goals is a great idea.

Can Your Business Survive without You?

As mentioned in a recent post about Polaroid, many businesses struggle when their founder and key visionary leaves. The founder is often the spark that keeps the business burning. It’s not necessarily healthy to create a business that’s overly reliant on you, but it happens.

Before you consider leaving the business, you need to evaluate how it will go without you there.

Liquidate or Recapitalize?

Once you’ve decided to actually sell the business, you’ll still have some options to figure out. Of course, the buyer will have say in this as well. The most common forms of business sales are liquidation and recapitalization.

If you want to be completely gone from the company, you will liquidate any ownership in it. You may, however, want to stay on in some capacity or keep some shares to profit off future success. In this case, recapitalization is a common path.

Whatever you do….

Don’t Make a Sudden Decision

Selling a business is a very permanent choice. If there’s a hot offer on the table, take as much time as you’re need before you make a choice – even if the potential buyer is pressuring you. And remember these words to the classic Rush song “Freewill” – If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

When Should My Business be Profitable?

May 26th, 2016 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Goal 9 thoughts on “When Should My Business be Profitable?”

Perplexed

Profitable businesses are so last decade, right?

After all, Twitter doesn’t make a profit. Salesforce has lost over half a billion dollars the past few years. Amazon went about 20 years without ever showing a profit.

The truth is, there’s a lot more to these companies’ business models than simple profits and losses, and for Salesforce and Amazon in particular, their revenues are rapidly growing every year. Explosive revenues can change the game on how a business needs to make money.

For your business, unless you have people investing hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars, you’re probably going to need to make a profit sooner rather than later.

But when does that happen?

The answer depends on a number of different factors. Before you can even define any sort of ‘when’, you need to figure out what profitability means for your business.

What Profitability Means for You

Technically speaking, your business is “profitable” as soon as its revenues exceed its expenses. But let’s say you left a good paying salary job to start up a business. In that instance, you might not consider yourself profitable until you personally are making as much if not more than you were at your previous job.

Or maybe you have investors, and you don’t consider yourself profitable until they’ve seen some return on their investments.

If you don’t have investors, and you’re fine with just reaching that base-level, “ramen profitability”, that’s not a bad starting goal, but you may want to build from there.

Whatever your benchmark is (and it’s very important to have benchmarks in place), you’ll want that in mind before you start down the road to profitability. And make no mistake….

Profitability is Important

There’s probably a number of different reasons why you started your business. It could have been because you wanted to be your own boss or because you realized a certain product was lacking from a specific industry. Perhaps you started a business out of necessity when you found yourself unemployed. Perhaps you hoped you could make the world a better place. Quite probably it is a combination of these and other things.

It’s fair to say you also probably hoped to make some money in the long run. Even if money is the last thing on your mind, at the end of the day, to keep your business operating at its best, you need to generate profits.

Entrepreneur Magazine once published an article that said “profits aren’t everything, they’re the only thing”. They go on to detail that you should have a plan, and that plan should revolve exclusively around you making money until you turn a profit. I tend toward the “profit isn’t everything and there are many ways to define success” school of thought, however, your business can’t last forever without it.

For anyone who has watched Shark Tank, you know that time and again, the first questions asked by the investors are:

  • What’s your profit model?
  • How much revenue do you have?
  • What are your sales?

And they ask this because they know a business that’s not making money is not going to be around for that long.

So how long do you have?

When Should My Business Be Profitable?

Getting back to the original question, it’s something that in many ways, you’ll have to decide. For some businesses, people will say you can expect to lose money in the first year, squeak by in the second, and start building up some profit in the third. Of course, if you’re taking loans or investments, that adds a lot more to manage.

The answer to the question might actually be another question:

How long can you go without making a profit?

Think about it. What’s the longest your business can stay afloat without bringing in some real revenue? If you can answer that, then you at least have a starting point to work from.

And from there, there’s some serious planning to do. I can help with that part. Check out my book Business is ART, download a free business plan template, or contact me directly.

Why Choreography in Business Can Hold You Back

February 29th, 2016 Posted by Behavior, Business is ART, Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Goal, Inspiration, Leadership, Owner 0 thoughts on “Why Choreography in Business Can Hold You Back”
What's holding you back

Photo courtesy gratisography.com

Is your business constrained by choreography? What’s holding you back?

The following is an edited excerpt from the book Business is ART. It was originally posted on 12/13/2014 at the former Business is ART blog site and has since been modified.

Business is ART – Chapter 2 Excerpt

I hate line dancing. I hate when those two or three songs inevitably start at wedding receptions, parties, or when the band or karaoke DJ decides to take a break, and people get up, line up, and begin doing whatever it is that they do to those songs all in unison. I hate it.

So when people ask why I’m not joining them in a good, old-fashioned line dance, I like to say, “Because I refuse to be constrained by the shackles of choreography,” followed by, “That means I can’t dance.”

The reality is, I actually can dance. If I was famous, you would never see me on “Dancing with the Stars,” but if you did, I would likely get through a few rounds before being sent home. I would not win nor make it to the final round, but I can dance passably when I want to. I just really don’t like line dancing.

It is probably more accurate to say that this phrase means that I don’t like playing within certain boundaries. I like to be creative and play outside the boundaries. ‘Refusing to be constrained by the shackles of choreography’ means staying relevant. How?  Here are a few thoughts.

Don’t Get Comfortable

Rockstar Jon Bon Jovi said “Don’t get too comfortable with who you are at any given time – you may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be.”

There’s nothing like a nice bed or a comfy couch to stretch out on and snuggle in for a while to watch a movie or your favorite team.  But don’t let life be that couch.  If you do, you’ll fall asleep while everyone and everything changes around you.  When you wake up, you may even find someone took the remote.

Things Change – So Should You

Pay attention!  Things are constantly changing.  Particularly in business, if you aren’t paying attention, you will become irrelevant in relatively short order.

Think past current demand.

Andy Warhol said, “An artist is somebody who produces things that you don’t need to have.”

If you find yourself saying “The customers aren’t asking for it and they don’t need it,” you probably need to rethink your strategy. More likely, you don’t have one.

What’s Holding You Back?

Here are 4 simple questions to ask yourself:

  1. What shackles do you wear (what is holding you back)?
  2. Can you think of a time when you threw off the shackles?
  3. If so, what motivated you to do so?
  4. What would you do if the shackles were removed today (what’s your plan)?

If line dancing is your thing, more power to you.  But, in business, don’t be constrained by the shackles of choreography.  Throw off those chains and do a little free styling.  Make up a new, smooth move of your own.

With a little luck, pretty soon all the cool kids will be doing it.

4 Tools to Make Your Business a Success

February 25th, 2016 Posted by Behavior, CEO, Entrepreneur, Goal, Leadership, Owner, Social Media, Strategy, Vision 0 thoughts on “4 Tools to Make Your Business a Success”

Business is ARTToo many young business leaders charge headstrong into the foray of their industry only to realize that they bit off more than they can chew. When it comes to starting a business and making it a success, you have to be prepared to take on anything that the business world will throw at you.

And that can often be a lot.

Between the competition, the costs and the unexpected bumps you are going to hit along the way, getting your company off the ground is never a straight shot from point A to point B. Instead, it is a winding road that will lead you all over the place. There will be days when you surge forward, days when you are left at a standstill and days that set you back more than you’d like to admit.

Nevertheless, you need to keep pushing forward with your business vision.

Tools that Build Success

Sounds easy, right? You’ve got your vision, you’ve got your business plan and you’ve even got a team in place to help you build it.

For some, this is all that is necessary. They have a lot of luck and their business just seems to take flight out of nowhere But these lucky first-timers are few and far between. Most people have to work very hard at building their business, and they often need a lot of help along the way.

You need more than a business plan to reach your definition of success. You also need tools to help you with everything from planning to your day-to-day operations. Even if you know exactly where you are going, you still need a means by which to get there.

Free Resources to Help You Out

There are quite a few free business tools out there that can help your business out. Some of the best that you can use are:

  • Google Apps: It’s like having Microsoft Word and Excel for free on your work computer. Plus, it is easy to share documents with your co-workers and clients.
  • Dropbox: A must have for businesses that need free cloud storage space. You can get 2GB of space for free, with paid plans upping your storage capacity.
  • LinkedIn: If you want your business to be taken seriously, you have to have a customer-facing image that is impressive and professional.
  • A Strategic Plan: What is your company’s vision and goals? It is essential for business owners to know where they want to go, but it is even more important to know how to get there. We have a free “One Page Strategic Plan” in our “Freebies” section that you can download to help get you there.

Learn as Much as You Can

The Business is ART book talks about not only having a plan, but always being prepared to revise that plan as the circumstances around you change. To do this, you have to learn all that goes into business planning, execution and more. The book, and our software subscription that is set to release soon, are two great tools that you can use to help you achieve success.

Plan Canvas is a community and a powerful software for improving your odds of business success and personal fulfillment.

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