Posts tagged "mission"

A Decision Not to Launch is Not Failure to Launch

October 4th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Subscriber of the Month 2 thoughts on “A Decision Not to Launch is Not Failure to Launch”

The Plan Canvas official launch was September 5, 2017. Like all new business ventures, we started with an idea.

In our case, that idea was to create tools and a community that make business success much more likely. The odds are already stacked heavily against most business ventures, and the unfortunate truth is we make the risk even greater by either not thinking things through, or over-complicating it.

Our vision is to eliminate that unnecessary, self-inflicted risk, while dramatically reducing the naturally occurring risk of doing business.

Going forward, our intention is to highlight one featured Plan Canvas Subscriber of the Month. This month, our featured subscriber is our first, ever, paid subscriber – our first genuine customer – Anastasia Button.

Sometimes the best decision is NOT to launch

Before telling her story, let’s make something clear upfront. After doing the analysis and beginning to strategize and plan the business, this Plan Canvas user made the decision NOT to further pursue the new business venture.

You may be thinking, “That is an odd case study to highlight.”

It’s a fair critique – on the surface. Most solution providers only tell stories of customers and clients that have had wild success using their products and services. We’re no different in that regard.

The difference may be that we genuinely see a decision not to launch as a wild success.

Too many people have wasted precious time, money, energy, and have even sacrificed relationships, for a business that was either not right or not right at the time. We would much rather our subscribers realize that very early in the game -before those expenditures are made – rather than after it is too late.

The best way to do that is by formally visualizing and planning the business ahead of time.

At the core – finding purpose

All that said, our very first Subscriber of the Month is no stranger to critically thinking through business development and business solutions.

Anastasia is a Millennial Business Coach and also helps companies attract, engage and retain young talent. You can find her at www.AnastasiaButton.com.

As she puts it, her passion is derived from pain.

“I was a lost Millennial trying to navigate what an entrepreneur was and I was failing as a roofing contractor – a door knocker. One day I realized I was not living a life I wanted. I worked 70-hours a week and was barely making ends meet. It wasn’t until I was on a 2-story roof and realized that I just felt like jumping (figuratively)!

I felt no purpose in what I was doing and realized in that moment that is what I was missing! So, after taking the journey to purpose everything fell into place and things began to streamline – book published, internationally speaking, professorship at the University of Denver, speaking to large corporate and helping Millennial business owners go from small to big!”

That is a GREAT example and great advice for everyone

Your sense of purpose does not have to be as grandiose as saving the world, but it is really important to take time to understand what it is. Once you’ve determined it, you have an opportunity to lay out a path forward to achieving it.

Anastasia’s drive comes from her sense of purpose – to help others identify their own purpose in life, so that they can leverage it to generate a business that is meaningful and brings impact to their lives.

She also helps corporations do this by leveraging their mission to fuel and engage their workforce and leadership to better serve the customer.

Anastasia had this to say about her experience with Plan Canvas

I enjoyed Plan Canvas for a few reasons:

  • Action Items – this is great for teams. My team members used to get overwhelmed seeing a huge to-do list. Now, from the dashboard, they just see what the next 7-days include.
  • Big picture – The team appreciated having immediate goals and I, on the back end, could see the whole picture.
  • Business planning – the tool was helpful in bringing focus to certain sections of the business plan. Instead of seeing a 10+ page business plan template and feeling like you have to fill it to the brim, Plan Canvas has you focus on small sections at a time. Before you know it, your business plan is written – and with brevity.
  • Simplistic, effective and easily navigated. I enjoyed Plan Canvas from the get-go and encourage startups, pre-startups and even my own clients to use Plan Canvas as a tool for their business and team, to get their plan in action!

Thank you so much, Anastasia!

We are so glad that there are people like Anastasia who are out there really making a positive impact on people’s lives and sense of purpose. We are even more appreciative to have subscribers like her in the Plan Canvas community.

There is always a level of disappointment in having a business idea that is eventually abandoned. But the good news is that Anastasia has a healthy coaching practice that continues to grow and thrive. She is the type of person that is likely to generate new, additional ideas throughout her life and career, and is probably already cooking up the next big one.

The great news is that she didn’t waste a lot of time and resource determining one particular idea is not right or not right now.

Thank you, Anastasia, for being a part of our big idea and for being our very first featured Subscriber of the Month.

For a quick demo of Plan Canvas, please click here.

How to Establish Trust (Part 1)

April 14th, 2016 Posted by Behavior, Business is ART, Business Plan, Strategy 0 thoughts on “How to Establish Trust (Part 1)”
Kevin West

Kevin West – Your Home Comfort Guy

The following is part 1 of a 2 part series on establishing trust.

On segment #27 of the Business is ART podcast at the TrueChat Network, my guest was business owner Kevin West of Your Home Comfort Guy, a heating and air conditioning company. Kevin is also the president of the Champion City Chapter (Springfield, Ohio) of BNI (Business Networking International). Our topic of discussion was “Trust” and during the course of the conversation, Kevin listed several means for building trust in your business, summarized in this 2 part series. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, follow this link and click on Segment #27 – Trust Me.

You Home Comfort GuyTrust is vital to launching and sustaining a business. Without it, you won’t be in business for long. Trust includes:

  • Customers trusting you (in every aspect)
  • You trusting your customers
  • Trust between you and your suppliers
  • Trust between you and your business’ other stakeholders
  • Trust between you and your community

Ultimately, trust is established by providing the right product/service, at the right place, at the right price to the right person. But how else can you establish trust? Here are a few simple, cost free means for doing so.

Know Who You Are

Before starting your business, take time to define who you are and who your business is. It is perfectly fine to revise and tweak that definition as you go. In fact it is encouraged. Things change rapidly, so you and your business need to change with them. But make time to ensure you have a clear definition.

A good way to do this is to define your vision, mission and purpose statements.

Pay Attention to Your Appearance

You never have a second chance to make a first impression, so, make sure that impression isn’t DOA simply due to appearance. It does mean something, and it is dependent on your business. What works just fine in one type of business setting may not work well in another, so pay attention, dress and groom accordingly. Start by imagining what kind of image works in your industry and what kind of image you want to portray. There is nothing wrong with being your own person, so long as you are aware that depending on what that means to you it may have an impact on your business or career.

Behave as Though Someone is Watching

This suggestion isn’t meant to imply that you should be paranoid. To the contrary. You should be confident in what you are doing. But operate in a fashion such that if you wouldn’t do something when someone is watching, don’t do it on the job when no one is watching. Act as though someone is always watching. If your business provides home or public services, there is a good chance that someone actually is.

We will discuss more in part 2 of this series on establishing trust.

The Secret to a Great Elevator Pitch

March 16th, 2016 Posted by Business is ART, CEO, Engagement, Leadership 0 thoughts on “The Secret to a Great Elevator Pitch”
elevator pitch face

Photo courtesy of gratisography.com

An elevator pitch is a very succinct means of stating what you are all about. The concept is that if you had just a few seconds to make your case to a stranger in an elevator before the doors open, what would you say and how would you say it? It is commonly referred to as a “sales pitch” but more and more, people are catching on to the sentiment that the best sales pitch is no pitch at all.

So, as stated, I think of it as a succinct means of stating what you are all about, rather than a succinct sales pitch. Meanwhile, several books, articles and TED Talks have become very popular, encouraging us to emphasize “why” rather than “what.”

For example, Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire” urges us to communicate our ideas, goods and services by starting with why anyone should care, how it satisfies the “why”, and finally what “it” is, rather than the reverse order we commonly see.

His New York Times best selling book Start with Why explores this concept further.

Creating a succinct message can be far more difficult than creating a lengthy one. There are many schools of thought on the subject but here is one more that I stumbled upon in my own work. Just as the best sales pitch is no pitch at all, the best way to write an elevator pitch may be to not write one…at least not directly.

Here is a process to explain what I mean.

Step 1 – Write a vision statement

Your vision statement should be simple. A sentence or two that looks in to the future and defines what it is you see. There is no right or wrong because it is your vision. There is “more effective”, but there is no “wrong.”

Amazon’s vision statement is often used as a good example and is as follows – “Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

My own vision statement is – The vision for Business is ART is that small to medium sized businesses (SMB) are dramatically more successful – improving their odds by at least 30 to 50 percent.

Step 2 – Write a mission statement

There is a difference between a mission statement and a vision statement. The vision statement is what you see in an ideal world, sometime out in the future. The mission statement is what you do. Not why you do it. What you do.

As an example, my mission statement is – To provide entrepreneurs, businesses and organizational leaders with the easy to use tools that they need.

Step 3 – Write a Purpose Statement

Now write your purpose statement. Your purpose is different than your mission. Purpose is the emotional hook. It’s why you follow your mission. I know, I know. Simon says, “Start with Why,” and here I am including it as Step 3, but stay with me for a minute.

My purpose statement is – To help others to feel less overwhelmed, get organized and focus.

Step 4 – Write the Elevator Pitch

Now you have everything you need to write your elevator pitch and it becomes a very easy task because all you need to do is mash together the vision, mission and purpose statements you just wrote. The difference? We’re going to start with why.

In other words, we will create the elevator pitch from the purpose, mission and vision statements in that order.

In my case, that becomes:

“I help entrepreneurs and small to medium sized business and organizational leaders to feel less overwhelmed and be dramatically more successful.

By providing simple to use tools, information and the experience they need to get organized and focused, Business is ART can help them increase their odds by 30 to 50 percent or more.”

Why, How, What

Now, using Sinek’s approach, let’s break it down:

  1. Why? You are overwhelmed and would like to be more successful (purpose).
  2. How? With simple to use tools (mission).
  3. What? Business is ART (vision).

Hopefully the response is, “Gee, I DO feel overwhelmed and alone at times. And I do want to be more successful. 30% to 50% you say? Tell me more.”

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

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