How Do I Get My Business Up and Going?

Q&A with Michelle

According to a OnePoll Study, 1 in 7 Americans believe they are sitting on a fantastic business idea.  Of those 41% haven’t taken any steps to get their idea off the ground.
Today on the blog I will be answering a few frequently asked questions about starting a business.
Question: How does someone know if their idea will actually work?
Michelle: Step one, is to really consider if this is a product you want or if there is an actual market for your product or service.  You do this by defining your target market. What group of people will benefit from this product or service? What does this group of people have in common? Age? Income? Education? Geographics? If there is a group that will buy your product, then you can go onto the next step.Question: What’s the next decision that needs to be made?
Michelle: Then next decision is does this product or service serve a local audience or a national or international audience.  If it’s a salon, or gift shop, while there may be an online element, a majority will happen online. While it’s easy to say you can sell to everyone, it’s hard to reach them unless it makes business sense that matches the product or service.

Question: How do you decide if you want to bootstrap your business or if you need income from another source?
Michelle: Many small business ideas can be bootstrapped.  But tech companies and inventions could need capital or maybe just a small business loan.  If you’re still not sure, consider the income and expenses that your business has.  Many startup hopefuls consider the income but not the costs. Understanding both is very important.

Question: One final quick question, how does one know they’re ready to dive into a startup?
Michelle: The truth is you’re never ready.  There will be things you figure out on the road whether you start you business now or 6 months from now, but thinking and planning can only get you so far.  Do some initial work and then get started and dive in.  You can adjust your sails as you go, but you won’t move forward until you push away from the dock.

Four Apps to Give Your Small Business This Year

And if you're a business owner, give these gifts to yourself!

Last week on KSL I shared four of my favorite apps for small businesses.  Some you’ve probably already heard of and used, some may be new to you.

It was hard only sharing four of my favorites. I created a list of 50 of my favorite apps personally and professional.

You can find that list here: http://speakmichelle.com/2018/12/10/50-apps-for-you-your-business/

Also feel free to watch the segment here!

50 Apps for You & Your Business

Using Your Phone for Increased Productivity & High Performance

I had the opportunity to speak at a conference this year on the 50 best apps for your business. Today I get to share 4 of my favorite apps on KSL’s Browser 5.0 but I wanted you to have my whole list.

In the digital world that we live in, we’ve got apps for everything from health to money.

Check out the list of my favorite 50 apps below.

 

 

Celebrating 20 Years In Business

And other August Milestones

Before this month comes to a close, I want to acknowledge how awesome August is in the life of Michelle. I’m celebrating  FOUR major anniversaries.

FIVE years ago, my first book hit number 1 on the Amazon Bestseller list.

TEN years ago, a number of things happened.  I quit my corporate sales training job, built out my speaking business and expanded my marketing consultancy.  AND I started working with Kelly Anderson at Startup Princess (and got my first social media account). I ran my own agency and promotional products company not the side for years, but this year, with a baby in tow, I went on my own and built partnerships that changed my business and life forever.

FIFTEEN years ago, I married my husband. Good Stuff.

TWENTY years ago, I started my first business, Doodads Promotional Products.  It was 20 years ago this month when I started my entrepreneurial story.  This business isn’t my life’s mission, but it’s run “in the black” every year since it’s inception and it has funded EVERY other of my business ventures.  When I needed to produce and record my first speaking event, I sold more pens, mugs and t-shirts to pay for the production company.  When I needed a new website for a new venture, I sold some folders and CD cases to a long time client.

I don’t promote this business anymore, but I do try to keep existing customers happy and 100% of my business comes from repeat customers or referral each year.  I’m still grateful for this company that practically raised me.  I was 19 when I started it.  Doodads taught me about business to business marketing.  It taught me about tangible marketing and campaigns.  It taught me about systems and hiring help so that I could focus on revenue generating activities.  It taught me about competition and differentiation and that people weren’t just buying a pen, they were buying me.  It taught me about customer service and it taught me about myself. I have said many times, owning a business is the best personal development tool EVER.

So, in these final hours before it’s September, I acknowledge the Augusts of my life.  Without which I would be monumentally different.  Too bad I didn’t do anything incredibly awesome this year so that I could add to this list in five more years for the 5, 10, 15, 20, 25.  LOL

Here’s to August!

Jimmy Fallon – Race Through New York

And Race Through LIFE - A Universal Orlando Resort Revelation

Have you been to Universal Orlando Resort this year? They just unveiled the new Jimmy Fallon Race Through New York ride and it was my fave.

But let me back up…

Some people cried the day Jay Leno turned the reigns of The Tonight Show over to Jimmy Fallon.  I, too, was skeptical.  I had heard of him but I wasn’t a SNL superfan.

I quickly turned and became an avid fan.  We record every Tonight Show and while we don’t watch every show, I watched the Billy Joel do-whop the day it happened.  I shared when he did a sketch with my favorites on Full House.

There’s no question he’s skilled at sketch writing and comic delivery.

There’s no question he does an excellent job interviewing even the toughest of guests.

There’s no question he has a brilliant way of making himself and other celebrities feel “real”.  When Fallon and Cameron Diaz took photobomb pictures on top of the Empire State Building…I smiled from ear to ear.

But do you know what I like best about Jimmy Fallon? That he has the best job on the earth, and he knows it.  Not out of pride and I’m-better-than-you way.  It’s a humble, I’m-the-luckiest-kid-on-the-block way and he works every day to be the best.  THAT’s why I like watching him.  It’s a humble pride I wish every celebrity would possess.

I will always think he has the coolest show on television and I dream of one day sitting on his couch talking about my book or breaking eggs over my head and pinching myself at the same time.

I know he’s not perfect, and I know he knows he’s not perfect.

What a great way to live! I know we can’t all be Jimmy Fallon’s and we can’t all be late night TV hosts.  But what if we all took the same approach to what we do and infuse the world with more humble pride?  Sometimes we give pride a bad wrap, but there’s an element of it that’s worthy and noble.  I even dedicate a chapter in my book to the good kind of “Pride” and confidence we all need to do life.

Maybe with all that backstory it explains while I love the ride.  Here’s my honest testimonial of Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York:

Jimmy Fallon was my favorite ride this year at Universal Orlando Resort. I’m a total Harry Potter person and love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter but Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York was my fave this year. My expectations were high and yet totally exceeded. Everything from the behind the scenes feel, the walk through NBC Studios, the Entertainment while you wait, and the ride itself. I loved the unexpected turns and things flying at me. Makes me need a real trip to New York to see the Jimmy Fallon Show. My kids still quote lines from “Sara”. “S-A-R-A with no H because H’a are eww”. Later on in my trip my favorite part of the afternoon parade was that Hashtag the Panda watched from the 3rd Floor. Well done Universal!

Truthfully, It would have been better if they let me down.  That Jimmy Fallon needed to be knocked off the pedestal I created for him (I’m KIDDING).

Race to Universal Orlando Resort and RACE to Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York.

As much as I loved getting hit in the face with Pizza and talking with Sara about puppies, the next stop for me, the ACTUAL New York City and the ACTUAL Jimmy Fallon in Real Life.

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What to Do If Your Kid is A Cyber Bully (AND How to Prevent Your Kid From Becoming a Bully)

KSL Browser 5.0 TV Segment

October is National Bullying Awareness Month and with a cell phone in the hands of almost every teen, the subject of cyber bullying deserves attention and discussion.

In yesterday’s post we talked about what to do if your kid is getting bullied online.  Today, we’re talking about what to do if your kid is the instigator (AND a few thoughts about how to prevent it from happening in the first place).