Lora CrestanClarity Expert
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Leadership Strategist + Coach...also app developer, leadership mentor, corporate leader turned entrepreneur focused on guiding others to success!



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I work with this topic frequently with many clients. Where everyone seems to get stuck is on how the work gets done, not just what the work actually is.

While knowing what you need to get done is important, how this individual will fit into the culture of your organization is critical. My suggestion is that you put together a day-to-day task description that will lead to a job description - from here you can sort out 'need to have' versus 'nice to have' in skill set & attitude. I would hate to see you waste your time & energy hiring someone that can do the job but derails everything else in the organization.

I would be happy to have a call on this with you to take you through the process more completely.


Sounds like you have the makings of a few streams of income from this product. Especially because you have the website piece down and sales are growing. The decision of which avenue to take truly belongs to what you want to achieve. (by no means are these fulsome questions, simply what has come to me off the top of my head for this question - there are many more things to consider than this) For example, if you open a retail store - what is required in this set up - cost, operational requirements, staffing needs, your time & presence, sharing your recipe etc. In a franchise model - what would the cost breakdown be, how do you ensure quality, how do you protect your brand, what comes next in your product assortment and how do you roll that out? Wholesale - questions start at, where do I locate a bakery to create the supplies to fill the demand, again - staffing, leadership, next product assortment and future plan.
Please connect with me to chat this through. There are variables missing in the question that as we dig through them, you may be able to solve your next step.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Lora


Hi Michael,
Great Question! Predicting the end of 2014 starts with a plan. I have this sorted out on a simple spreadsheet, by client and activity for each quarter of the year. This also helps me stay on track as I check my monthly figures.
That being said, I completely recognize the amount of tools that are available through apps and technology and have spent time over the last 1/2 of 2013 exploring what works and what does not for me in my specific business. My focus lives in Basecamp - it's project tracking and communication cloud solution that gives me that place to ensure I stay on track and at the same time create and host plans for the future. At the same time, where I have partners in some goals, they can be a part of that specific track/project and submit their thoughts, work and ideas.
I use a few other tools that are cloud solutions so that I can see my business up close. I have discovered though, like you, that there is a gap in a personalize solution for my type of business - so now I am developing one.
I would be happy to chat this through further with you - see what you are using or testing so that if I have tested them myself I can let you know my thoughts. Also, pick your brain about the new solutions that could be developed.
All the best,
Lora


In interviewing accounting firms for my coaching practice, I asked a series of questions about how they do business, who their best accountant would be for my type of business etc.

The key here is to build a relationship with the accountant as well as the firm. Simply going by recommendation without seeing if you are a good fit can lead to issues (I know, I have been there!) You will need to feel comfortable asking questions, seeking advice and input into the business. An accountant can be a helpful advisor if you have a good foundation. The question about proprietary information should then become a non-issue.

I would be happy to role-play this interview/conversation with you and discuss any other follow up questions you may have.


This is a very interesting idea. Sounds like a hub where learning can take place as well as connecting with like-minded people. I have been hosting networking and leadership development events for 5 years. Some of the networking events led to hosting sessions on Twitter and LinkedIn for business owners. Your plan has a great deal of potential.

In order to get this off the ground you will need to develop some clear strategies and tactics around the specific offerings you will provide to which audience. For example: moms & dads - hosting weekly seminars, or one-on-one session (like booking an appointment with the Geniuses at the Apple Store); for business owners - a breakfast networking session that really focuses on connection (not media); regular workshops in different network segments; classes for entire teams.

The retail setting sounds viable. I like the fact that it would be accessible and you can definitely assist in capturing the teen market - helping them understand what should and should not be posted, how to build their profiles professionally for the future and more. You could connect this part of your enterprise to a fundraising event.

Looking at what you are considering and the location, tapping into resources at the Universities and business/tech accelerators could help you find talent to staff the facility - interns, co-op students etc.

This is an exciting venture.There are so many parts to consider as you get this going - costs, staffing, marketing etc. I would be happy to discuss building this plan with you. Please let me know how I can be of help with any follow up questions.


A mentor is usually not someone you pay....they are usually someone who has a specific skill set or experience you are missing and they can help guide you in your next steps.

I building my business, my mentor had already been through everything that would happen as I got started. She was instrumental in keeping me on track and helping me understand the obstacles. Her support and past experience was invaluable.

Before you start looking for mentor create a list of the skills you need to develop. Knowing that you want to grow sales exponentially, what specifically do you feel is missing for you to make that leap and how will your mentor help you accomplish this?

A few ways to find a mentor include through your local Chamber of Commerce; use your LinkedIn contacts and groups to seek out who has the qualifications you require; a tech accelerator and business networking group may help here too. Sometimes you will find that your mentor may not come from your field of business....it's the experience that you are looking for to help you grow. They will be able to guide you around obstacles, anticipate what could come at you and help you formulate your future steps. This other perspective is helpful in providing insight in new ways to your business.

Please let me know if you would like to discuss mentoring more. I am happy to have a call to bounce other ideas around.


This is certainly a tough category. Understanding that your story must be compelling, innovation should tie into it.
Why did you develop the product? What was your need? Where did you see the gap in the marketplace? How did you do this? And on and on....
The upside of this market is that although crowded, there is an audience for a story that resonates, touching the heart and body of your target market. Getting them this information in the way they want to hear it will be key to success.
Question: are you focusing on online sales or in-store? All of this will need to be addressed as the story is developed.


My focus is business strategy and development, I am also a geek-at-heart! There are a few things to dig into to get rolling.
With your strength in tech - tap into virtual resources or even crowdsourcing to get the work done from a marketing and sales lead perspective leaving you to focus on what you do best.
I am happy to have a call with you to discuss steps! This is a critical time for your company and your passion is evident.


Sounds like you are off to a great start. In order to make the phone ring, you will need to develop a marketing plan that will continue to amplify your reach. Here are 3 things that quickly came to mind:
1 - If you are already on social networks, are you connecting to groups and sharing your information and/or posting snippets of the podcast to gather interest?
2 - With your current followers, what can you do to have them advocate for you? Use your list to provide opportunities for others to connect you to more coaching clients.
3 - Connect with others in your field that can enhance your coaching offering and develop a mutual alliance or strategy to share resources, lists, create a bundle package offer.

I would be happy to brainstorm more ideas with you and develop steps to implement. Understanding the focus material will create more steps. Let me know how I can help.


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