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So far rlybeck has created 8 blog entries.

Presenting Your New Business Professionally-Part 2

In my last blog, I shared some examples of new businesses that DID NOT present professionally. The question I failed to answer is, “What makes a professional presentation?” To begin, I will go back to my shoe visual. First up, most of us would not appear in public wearing one high heel and one hiking boot. It wouldn’t make sense and we would walk funny! Translate this to our professional presentation—it needs to match. While both high heels and hiking boots are wonderful, they are not wonderful together. Our professional presentation should match across our brand—logo, business card, website, print, events and advertising all need to be consistent and look like they belong to the same business. Second up, most of us would not wear high heels to go bowling. The manager of the bowling alley wouldn’t let us and we’d probably fall down on the slide step when [...]

By |2019-03-11T19:48:36-06:00March 11th, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments

Presenting Your Business Professionally

This is an important moment in an entrepreneur’s journey! You’ve embraced the dream, determined you do want to be a business owner, written a business plan and executed it, and found your way to networking groups. Congratulations! Now it is all about how you present your business so that people hire you. Believe it or not, there is ONE correct approach: Professionally. Exactly what that will look like is a highly individual decision. But presenting your new business professionally is a must. Perhaps you can relate to some of what follows. I have had people hand me their business card and explain that everything on it, with the exception of the cell phone number, is incorrect. I’ve met very compelling people with a great story about their business, but when I visited their website to learn more, it was nothing like them. What they had talked about so passionately [...]

By |2019-02-18T20:01:51-06:00February 18th, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments

The Two Sides of Networking

I started networking for the sole purpose of connecting to clients who need my services. I truly hoped this would be my “easy” button, that embracing networking is all I needed to do to grow my business. While networking hasn’t been an “easy” button that completely supplies all my new clients, it has provided the all important first link: referrals. I’ll write more about referrals in future posts. This week is about the two sides of networking and the one above is the obvious one. Is this the side of networking that appealed to you, too? The other side of networking is the side that connects us to business professionals to hire, to provide expertise that we don’t have. Rather than making money for our business, it is about spending our money. Make no mistake: the professionals we hire to support our business will be among the most important [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:57:20-06:00February 11th, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments

The Importance of Networking

During my dreaming phase of starting a business, this is the part I always skipped over. I knew what I loved to do and how I wanted to use my expertise to help others. I could visualize working with them! But getting from launch (Point A) to working with clients (Point B) was lost in the glow of anticipating how wonderful it would be. I hoped it would be as easy as saying, “Hey, world! Here I am! This is how I can help you!” And the clients would be lining up. It didn’t happen that way. At all. Not even one tiny bit. I had heard of networking but I had a very dim view of it. I assumed it involved being surrounded by strangers in a bar, business cards in hand, unsure how to strike up a conversation. A friend asked if I had ever heard of [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:57:52-06:00February 3rd, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments

Are we there yet?

As I started to write about the Chicken and the Egg, I realized I’d used the wrong metaphor and missed a step. The Chicken and the Egg is about not knowing which came first. When you start a business, what comes first is known. At least it is if you’ve written your business plan! Are we there yet? I remember asking this question hundreds of times on road trips as a little girl. And I’ve come pretty close to that count asking myself, is my business “there yet?” After writing a business plan, I’ve found my answers in it. No, I’m not there yet. But I am getting closer. My business is self-funded so I did not need to apply for a business loan, grant or look for investors. I am home-based so I did not need to look for a store front or office. These two questions [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:58:16-06:00January 28th, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments

Commit to a Plan

After I answered the questions and decided I was suited to start a business, I’d like to say I was like the squirrel in the photo and immediately began planning. This little creature is inspiring! Not satisfied with one nut, the next several are within reach. The next move is clear. However, I was much more like the dog in the animated movie “Up!” Remember how his attention immediately diverted every time he encountered squirrel? Since I didn’t need to apply for a loan or grant for start-up capital, I jumped right in. And each shiny new idea captured my attention for almost two years. Yikes! I finally returned to the book: How to Start a Home-based Graphic Design Business by Jim Smith with Lisa Polce (link provided below). It provides clear steps to follow, beginning with how big I envisioned the business becoming, to considering “what if” scenarios [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:58:40-06:00January 21st, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments

Do I have what it takes?

If you have had a “meandering dream” to start a business, this is the question that has likely stopped you in your tracks more than once. While I loved the dreaming part, and the anticipation of living my dream, my rose colored glasses protected me from thinking too much about the distance I’d have to travel from one to the other. Perhaps you can you relate. I am a reader and so my first tentative steps had me checking Amazon for books on starting a home-based Graphic Design Business. I found the perfect book, written by Jim Smith with Lisa Polce. (A link to the book is provided below.) It turned out to be an excellent resource for me. The questions it poses apply to any entrepreneurial business, so I list them here as a place to begin. While there may be common threads that weave through the answers [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:59:09-06:00January 14th, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments

A Meandering Dream

That isn’t a typo in the title. While the photo is of a meandering stream, I am writing today about meandering dreams. Sometimes we dream about starting our own business only to have life pull us in a different direction, like the stream in the photo as it flows through the valley. I’ve always loved meandering streams, how they seem to be in no particular hurry. However, it can be frustrating to feel the dream business inside us, over and over again, only to realize that years have slipped by and we are still doubling back, still waiting. For Christmas, my husband Tom gave me a book by one of my favorite authors, Jan Karon. She is a best-selling author and introduced the world to the town of Mitford, full of wonderful characters and centered on the life of Father Tim Cavanaugh. In her latest book “Bathed in Prayer,” [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:59:39-06:00January 7th, 2019|Starting a Business|0 Comments