Does Your Business have B.A.M? Monday, Nov 17 2014 

BAMMany people have dreams of owning a business. Some want the freedom to direct their own future. Ultimately, live a care free life filled with exotic vacations. Others want an untapped income stream. No matter the motivation, you need three elements to be successful.

Belief

A successful entrepreneur has to believe in their own ability to bring home the bacon. Let’s be honest, you can have the nicest business cards ever created and never make a dime. A fancy business card does not make a business. You have to know the value you bring in the market place. This means knowing what makes your product or offering unique. Then having the confidence and skill to share that value with the customer.

Activate

Planning your business activities is necessary, if you are going to be organized and focused. An entrepreneur needs a target to aim his shot. However, plans without action are just wishes. Regardless of the formal title, you are in the business of selling. Mary Kay Ash said it best, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” Yes, this business may be your deep down passion. However, money is what allows you to share your passion. Coaching women in their businesses and lives is what I was born to do. I would do it for free, and have. That said, the electric company hasn’t started taking passion as payment. So you have to always be selling, or as I like to say, “exchanging value” if you are going to continue to share your gifts with the world.

Maximize

Now here comes a biggie in the entrepreneurial space, maximizing. Acquiring new customers can be a lot of work, cost, and time. The worst part, the more time we spend working on seducing the potential new customer or client. The less time and resources we have to better serve the old and faithful. The ones that already know your value, and are willing to compensate you for it. Spend time maximizing your offerings to these customers. Look at AT&T, cable, phones and now security systems. Now of course new customers are necessary to keep a business growing. Just make sure it isn’t at the expense of the old.

Monique Moliere Piper

Certified Professional Coach and Author

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How do Certifications affect your Business? Thursday, Sep 18 2014 

Certifications could benefit your business! Your company could greatly benefit from certifications if you invest time to learn, understand, and market the certification(s). Federal, state, and local municipalities have established certification initiatives to assist small businesses in securing contracting opportunities. Certification initiatives have designated contracting goals on each project. As a certified firm, you could be the prime contractor or a subcontractor on the project. As the prime, you have the majority percentage of the total value of the contract. For example, a construction project with a total value of $250,000 could have a designated 20% or $50k goal for a certified business. If your company is certified, then you meet the 20% as a subcontractor or you could be the prime. Conversely using the same scenario. Another company could be the prime and you could be the subcontractor doing 20% of the total value of the contract, which is set-aside ONLY for a certified business.Certified Certifications

 How does a business get certified? All certifications have an application process and they vary from agency to agency. Most applications are available online and some can be submitted electronically while others have to be mailed in. Some certifications have interview task attached.

 Length: The length of being certified varies.  Some certifications have an end date such as the federal 8a Certification – 9 years. Some certifications have an annual re-certification process, which requires submitting information to get initially certified and the submitting updated information that proves that your company still qualifies for the designated certification. Submission information could include business tax returns, personal tax returns, and financial statements.

Cost: The majority of certifications are free, your only cost is the time it will take to package your application. Federal, state and local certifications are free. Third party agencies, or agencies that administer the certification process on behalf on another agency, charge a fee to obtain certifications.  These certifications range between $250 -$350, on average.

 Research: I recommend that you research ALL certifications that your company can qualify for and evaluate. If you decide that certification is an option your company would like to pursue, then consider doing the certifications you select at the same time. Most certifications will ask for the same or similar information – so maximize time and do it all at the same time.

Remember, just because you have a certification does not mean that new business will simply start appearing. Certification is another tool for you to use in your arsenal of marketing strategies.

 

Author:

Tiya Scroggins, MBA