SaveYourSmallBiz part3In an earlier post in the Save Your Small Business series I talked about planning. Before that I spoke about tips and strategies for finding success here and here. Today I want to talk about quitting. In the small business world I see a lot of people give up the minute the water gets a little choppy. They started their journey dipping a toe in to test the waters and when the reality of being in business for yourself isn’t all warm and welcoming they run for the hills in hopes of finding something that is easier to find success with.

I  wondered what would happen if we had that same attitude as parents? What would it be like if the minute little Johnny paid homage to the porcelain God’s with your favorite necklace caused you to walk away in search of a kid that was easier to parent? Not going to happen, right? Instead of running, we regroup, rally the troops, educate ourselves and find solutions.

From the moment my children were born, I knew that no matter how hard things got, I wouldn’t ever give up on them. I knew that we were in it for the long hall and that we could get through anything, and honestly we’ve been through some difficult times. But from the start I knew that there would be times I would have to be innovative, patient and do things that I really didn’t want to do. I knew I would cry and I knew I would laugh. But most of all I knew I would never quit on them.

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A Simple Tip for Winter BluesI don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been feeling a little confined and blah. Ok maybe I have the winter blues. Perhaps it’s the record cold temperatures, snow or all this pent-up winter energy but I find myself wanting to hibernate and find excuses to stay inside my house. Shocker I know, but Judy Davis, the Direction Diva has to work to beat the winter blues especially when the temps are in the single digits. And then as if someone was tapping me on the shoulder saying, get it together I ran across an old email from Ariane de Bonvoisin that inspired me so I had to share it… [click to continue reading …]

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Planning: Save Your Small Business Series by Judy Davis, The Direction DivaAs a small business owner you may be frustrated with various aspects of your business. You may feel as though you are working harder with no results, or perhaps it’s  gotten to the point that you are on the brink of closing your doors. I totally understand that owning a business can be frustrating, but the best part of entrepreneurship is that you have the power to change things. With a few tips, a bit of hard work and some sound advice, it’s possible to turn things around – and that is what this series is about. In part 1 of the Direction Diva’s Save Your Small Business Series we talked about the importance of having marketable products; today we go back to the beginning and focus on the importance of planning.

Truth: Successful businesses have a plan that they follow and adjust regularly.

I think this is the place where I eat my humble pie because when I began my blog, I didn’t really have a plan. I started blogging to stay in contact with groups of military spouses that I was the speaker for at various events. No thoughts as to how I would engage with new followers; I didn’t think about creating a contact list or setting up my website to work with sponsors or advertisers. I also didn’t have any products to sell nor did I have a clue when it came to tracking, hosting and development. To make matters worse I didn’t have a plan.

Spontaneity and putting out fires was my methodology and while there is something to be said for going with the flow and capitalizing on last-minute opportunities, spontaneous business operations don’t get you very far. Having a plan does.  Formal or not, understanding how you will reach and interact with your customers takes a focused and planned effort.

Just like you wouldn’t attempt to build a home without blue prints, don’t try to build a business by winging it.  It doesn’t have to be formal or elaborate but if you want to succeed at any level you need a plan that answers the following: [click to continue reading …]

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BEST (1)As an entrepreneur there is a natural ebb and flow to running a small business. There is nothing more exhilarating than bringing your passion to life and turning an idea into something successful. But many small business owners are looking for a lifeline. They may be on the verge of closing their businesses and start running their businesses more effectively.

In a previous post, I talked about how many small biz owners in the military community need a reality check and I should know, because this Direction Diva had to do just that. I had to change the way I ran my blog and my overall business to save me from closing operations for good. And I know I’m not alone which is why today is the first post in a new series Save Your Small Business.

Like many military spouses I am running a business out of a desire to create an income stream in a way that works with my military lifestyle. I wanted to share my experience to help someone else, and before I knew it I was working 13 hour days, traveling all around the country and releasing my first book.

Funny thing was that I hadn’t made a dime, in fact profit was a foreign language for my latest entrepreneurial endeavor. Why was this time different?

Looking back there were lots of factors, but I think it was different because from the inception in 2011 I never looked at it like a business. I had a passion to make a difference with no concrete plan to profitability.

Eventually my message caught on and grew, but my business didn’t grow with it. I had set things up in such a way that there were no income streams and I was required to put money in just to keep things going. It was stressing me out and effecting my family. I had to find a better way before it was to late. [click to continue reading …]

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