Posts Tagged ‘strategic planning’

4 Mistakes Business Owners Make

May 31, 2014

good-choices-bad-choicesLet’s get to some core issues that stunt professional development and growth!

Over the holidays, I encountered four (4) people that said things that disturbed and concerned me.  I want to share them because we can all learn from these.  Here are four (4) mistakes that business owners make:

1.       Reluctance to look in the mirror and Self SWOT

In November, I gave a lecture to a group of business women in Macon, Georgia and shared it online in about 50 Facebook and Linkedin groups I belong to.  The emphasis was on planning for 2014 by doing three (3) things: (1) self SWOT, (2) SWOT of your business, and (3) planning sales activities.  A SWOT is simply an assessment of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  You plan activities that increase strengths and opportunities; and decrease weaknesses and threats.

Several ladies shared with me in December that they conducted their Self SWOT.  They were excited about it and said that taking the time to reflect and write things down was very revealing, somewhat uncomfortable, but good for them overall.  But, one lady contacted me and said she was going to share the worksheet with her clients.  She said she was lucky and was very successful; and had been assessed to death.  She did not see a need to do a self analysis.  She implied that she did not need to self SWOT.

Well, the fact is we all need to take a look in the mirror.  The key word that stood out with this lady was “luck”.  Perhaps her success was merely by way of luck.  This type of success is fleeting.  Business owners should make improvements in the way they think and operate so that business growth and success is sustainable.

One lady said that she had been in business for a long time since the early 80s.  Her tone implied that she did not need to plan or self SWOT because she had it all figured out.  Perhaps she felt she had arrived.  Well, again, that’s the wrong attitude.  No matter how successful you are, planning and assessments can help you grow and be even more successful!  Even Richard Branson believes in business strategy and planning.  He believes in having detailed and realistic legal, financial and operational plans.  The SWOT is not lengthy or formalistic.  A lot of folks are reluctant to take that closer look because it might be uncomfortable or painful.  But, it could help them grow their business and grow as a professional.

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By Clovia Hamilton, MBA JD President of Lemongrass Consulting Inc.

SWOT and Sales Activities – Plan for 2014

November 21, 2013

business development, business strategy, entrepreneuralism, female entrepreneurs, networking, sales, self improvement, small business, strategic planning, women owned small business, Macon Georgia

ac·tion  noun \ˈak-shən\

:  the bringing about of an alteration by force or through a natural agency

:  the manner or method of performing

ac·tive  adjective \ˈak-tiv\

: doing things that require physical movement and energy

: characterized by action rather than by contemplation or speculation <an active life>

ac·tiv·i·ty  noun \ak-ˈti-və-tē\

:  the quality or state of being active

:  vigorous or energetic action :  liveliness

:  something that is done as work or for a particular purpose

strategy in business; sales leads; sales prospecting; SWOT; strategic planning; strategic management; sales executive; business and strategy;I had big fun at the Greater Macon Women Business Owners meeting last week.  We had a great taste of Italy at the Buca de Beppo restaurant in Macon, Georgia.  I gave a short talk about activities that women in business can plan to pursue in 2014.  We also talked about the importance of conducting a Self SWOT analysis and having a facilitated SWOT analysis of our businesses done.  I serve as a facilitator!  Lastly, I gave the ladies a worksheet for tracking Sales Activities.

I think that all too often business owners that struggle look to others to rescue them.  The owners pout and justify their poor performance by saying it simply is not their time or season; or they are upset that someone did not bring them into some work.  I bet if you really looked at how active they are in business development, their level of activity would be pretty low.  Business development activities need to be performed daily – – rather than when the work runs out and it is too late.  The level of activity needs to be vigorous, energetic, lively, and with the purpose of achieving real, measurable goals.  Read more and Get the SWOT and Sales Activities Worksheet!

 

by Clovia Hamilton, President

Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2005-2013 Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

9 Business Lessons from the Green Lantern

June 19, 2011

This weekend, I watched the Green Lantern movie. It was awesome! Here are nine (9) business lessons I learned from the movie:

1. Green Lantern operates on green energy and the color green represents a species’ will. Our will allows us to create what we imagine. Anything the Green Lantern could see in his mind, he could create. He just needed to focus. We are only as strong as our will. The business lesson here is that every business leader needs to utilize laser focused creativity and imagination to develop a vision for what the business needs to look like and for strategies the business can use to overcome barriers. This is where a sound business plan and strategic planning comes into play. To stay creative, business leaders also have to overcome getting into ruts and feeling burned out.

Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur’s Council recently wrote a Huffington Post article on how entrepreneurs can get back to being creative and productive. The answers included: 1) taking on a hobby other than the startup; 2) delegate and outsource certain functions; 3) take time to recharge and get away; 4) focus on activity that gives you energy; 5) find a business partner; 6) read about art, literature, history; 7) mentor others;  8) work out; 9) pick a company that is getting it right to emulate and track; 10) conquer a fear with sky diving, mountain climbing or some other adventure; 11) invest in something creative or different for your business; 12) turn to your mentors; 13) network with folks in other fields; 14) take up creative writing; and 15) change your routine.

2. Your will is what makes you take action.
3. The Green Lantern Corps is only as strong as its weakest link.
4. In the movie, the villain Parallax had the color yellow and fed on the fear of others. This is actually the color I associate with cowardice. Fear stops you and makes you weak. Ignore your fear. Last year, Karen Klein wrote a BusinessWeek article about Nell Merlino and what holds women business owners back. Nell Merlino advocates that women business owners need to hire. However, Nell acknowledged that many feared doing so because they were afraid they would not be able to make payroll or would cede and lose control and management of their brand. In Nell Merlino’s self help memoir entitled “Stepping out of Line”, she advocates that whatever you can imagine for yourself, you can achieve – and imagination and dedication are the keys.
5. The Green Lantern ring chose the character Hal to be the Green Lantern. In the movie, it was stated that the “ring” chose Hal; and the ring never makes a mistake. I think the ring is symbolic of a higher spirit or God. Just as Hal was chosen to serve as the Green Lantern, I think God chooses individuals to be business leaders.
6. In the movie, the villain was an evil power of darkness that fed on fear. In business, our enemies are naysayers or competitors that block the market entry of newcomers. It was stated in the movie that the will is the sole weapon against the enemy of fear.
7. One of the Green Lantern Corps members wanted to fight fear with fear. The Green Lantern disagreed. The business leadership lesson here is that we do not have to become like our enemies in order to succeed. I have observed this time and time again. When I first opened my business in 2005, several competitors wanted to meet and talk. Some wanted to find out my weaknesses and fears. Some were really ugly about blocking me from entering their arena or space. I thought this was awful – they were fighting fear with fear – trying to make me be afraid about moving forward with my plans. I also encountered loved ones (friends and family members) that really did not want me to be “that” successful. So, they tried to play on my fears by telling me how hard it would be; how costly; how foolish.
8. Parallax is generally defined as the displacement of an observed object due to the change in the position of the observer. In the movie, the villain Parallax could see your memories and read minds. This is how it could feed on the fears of others. In business, you have to be careful sharing certain memories, thoughts, and fears to prevent enemies from preying on your fears. Guarding the business position is important.
9. The Green Lantern had to recharge his ring; i.e. recharge his will. I think this is analogous to prayer and having faith. I think we need to take time to pray, meditate to recharge and gain strength to overcome barriers.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, and social media marketing strategic plans.

Connect with Clovia :
■ Phone: direct – 678.235.5901
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

Do you Tweet? Part Two.

May 15, 2011

This time last year, I wrote an article called Do you Tweet? I completed two Social Media classes in 2009 and decided to use social media online marketing as an affordable way to build my network. It’s working. My network has steadily grown. I went to a trade conference recently and folks recognized me when in many cases, I did not recognize them. Online marketing increases your visibility and helps you achieve “presence of mind” when it comes to getting referrals. This article serves to update you the new tools and techniques I am trying.
Last year I wrote how I spend a minimum (and usually maximum) of 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night each day. Now, I spend more time. I usually devote a few hours on Saturday or Sunday. Here’s what I do with Twitter now:
You get followers by following others. If someone does not follow me in about a week or so, I stop following them.
How do I find followers and get folks to follow me?
1) I still get great twitter connections from my linkedin and facebook groups.
2) I upload a *.csv (comma separated value) file from linkedin into twitter to make sure I am following my Linkedin connections out on Twitter – and to encourage them to follow me back.
3) I look at every new Facebook connections’ information page to find out if they have a twitter account – if so, I follow them and email them to request that they follow me back. I also check out their website. I always do my due diligence to find out whether a Facebook invite or recommended connection is a good fit in my circle or space.
Why do I love Twitter?
1) It helps me direct traffic to my website. We have had an increase of website visitors as per our Google Analytics reports. I review our analytics monthly.
a. With each twitter follow, I use the Twitter Direct mail feature to send them an email:
i. thanks 4 the follow! I look forward to getting to know u! Free ebook gift for u: 25 Small Biz Tips: http://tinyurl.com/35rtl7e
ii. please support our Facebook biz page by clicking on the Like link & Join My List link – http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o
b. Each week I usually post a blog post and convert the post into articles. I then tweet the new arrival of a blog post and use auto notifiers to post the articles. This helps drive traffic to my website.
c. I have begun to post videos via YouTube, and photos using Twitpic.
How do I save time?

Well, last year I was using ping fim to post each morning. Now I use Hootesuite and schedule about 50 posts each week. I post about 7 times per day. I set up 2 or 3 posts in the morning, noon, and night. I use the ping fm feature in Hootesuite to distribute my posts to a number of social media outlets – myspace, linkedin, my personal facebook page, my company’s facebook like page, and other pages. I love the schedule ahead feature in Hootesuite.
Last year, in my Do you Tweet article I listed a number of news outlets that I subscribe to in order to read and cull out content to share online. This year, I have finally graduated to using Twitterfeed to share posts from my favorite blogs. At first I used their default of posting every 30 minutes. One of my cousins advised me that it seemed like I was posting on Twitter every minute and that was annoying. I went from about 7 posts per day to who knows what. So, I had to go back into Twitterfeed and adjust the settings.
I signed up for Gist and have begun to see dossiers on folks in my network. This helps me decide who to conversate with. But, I honestly lean more toward the Hootesuite mention feature to see who retweets my post or asks me questions. I can then easily respond. Gist is more comprehensive since it will show me my online connections’ posts in several outlets. But I will have to hire someone to help me make the most of that. It would be neat if all of this could be rolled into Hootesuite so that I could see everything on one website. If you know of a way, please let me know.
The key is to continue to try new marketing tactics. Post diverse things and use a variety of tools to stay fresh and interesting. No matter how much we small business owners do, we can always do more. You cannot get frustrated and quit. You simply build the empire one stone at a time with patience and persistence.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o

7 Steps to Retreating, Reflecting, and Re-Strategizing in your Small Business

April 10, 2011

As a small business owner, I can attest that all of the new technologies, marketing techniques, and advice can make you feel overwhelmed, unorganized, and confused. The key is to stay focused, coherent, and consistent with what works for you. A good old fashioned retreat and look into a reflection pool is beneficial. I recently put my company through a series of exercises that I’ll share with you here.

First, I took time to retreat and reflect on who our niche market is. I began by listing all of our past customers. We have subcontracted to subcontractors and I included all customers served whether we had a direct contractual agreement with them or not.

Second, I studied all of our past customers. I developed 6 Excel spreadsheets and bar charts to describe our past customers in the following 7 categories:

(1) Customers’ Race
(2) Customers’ Gender
(3) Customers’ Profession
(4) Our Marketing Methods than Won the Deal
(5) Customers’ Geographic Location
(6) Customers’ Industry Type
(7) Type of Service provided to the Customer

Third, with our customer information in hand, I revisited the fundamental identity of my company. I gave thought to what we do best and where our strengths lie so that we can build on our strengths. For my firm, it is our emphasis on research, analysis, strategy, and legal compliance. Our clients have been primarily white men in the land development construction arena. Most were referred to us. The referrals came from complimentary service providers that we do not compete with. Most were in our home state. The services have been related to public outreach and buy-in, business writing, and strategic planning.

Strategic Planning Retreat Fulton County, GA Health

Fourth, I developed a clear idea of how we create value. We offer 20 services, so I worked on each service area. I came up with unique, clear, concise, and compelling sales propositions for each of the service areas. I listed ways our services are unique in terms of customer benefits. I then listed the pain points for each service we offer. Reviewing customer testimonials, words of praise, and recommendations helped to see our customers’ perspective of why we are still in business. I am not integrating all of this into our marketing materials as we are in the process of freshening all of that up!

Fifth, I drafted a description of the number one thing I want our prospects to know about what we do and how it will benefit them.

Sixth, I drafted a list of 10 categories of people most likely to want our services. They include:

(1) land development managers
(2) architects
(3) civil site development engineers
(4) surveyors
(5) community development managers and grassroots organization’s leaders
(6) external affairs or community affairs department directors
(7) attorneys and procurement officials seeking training, legal research and writing assistance
(8) chamber directors seeking training seminars
(9) higher education continuing education directors
(10) small business owners in need of business writing services and coaching

Seventh, I listed our top strategic priorities. For my firm, the current priorities are all focused on implementing tools to generate income via ecommerce and web stores. I put the top five (5) priorities on Q cards and posted them to a task cork board. I also wrote the tasks in my calendar to make sure they would be given priority and would get done.

Have you studied your customer pool? If so, what was your approach?

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Contact Clovia at http://www.lemongrassplanning.com or follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans

Importance of Small Business Strategic Planning

February 28, 2011

Although most business owners understand the importance of having a business plan, they often overlook their marketing and intellectual property protection strategies. In order to conduct business development in the most efficient and effective way, it is important to target prospects strategically. Therefore, it is imperative to have a marketing strategic plan. If a small business is seeking to serve as a government contractor, then a government contracting strategic plan is necessary. Further, once a business begins to brand itself in the marketplace and create new products and business processes, it is important to protect the intellectual property assets that the business owns.

Marketing Strategic Action Plans

In the business to business market, the key to developing a strong marketing strategy is to fully understand what products and services you want to sell; to whom; and where. First list what products and services you want to sell. Next, ask yourself who is likely to buy these products and services. Think about this in terms of demographics: gender, race, income. Write the pain points down. What pains these folks and why would they buy your products and services in order to alleviate their pain.

Before you move on to where you want to sell your products and/or services, research the market. Find out who your competitors are and find out as much as you can about the competition’s pricing and sales revenues. Marketing research is an extremely important portion of a marketing strategic action plan.

Now, decide on your geographic market. It is recommended that you begin close to home and then branch out. Start with the city your business is located in. Venture out into your county. Next, consider adjacent counties and counties in your region. After you research and market to prospects in your region, continue to venture out throughout your state. Know your demographics and where your prospects are centralized.

Begin to create and acquire lists of prospects. This will be the beginning of the sales plan subset to your marketing plan. Once you have your targets listed out, begin to use email marketing, social media marketing, direct mail, and calls for appointments.

Intellectual Property Strategic Action Plans

As businesses develop their brand in the marketplace and create new products and business processes, it is important to protect their intellectual property. As a registered patent attorney and former technology transfer specialist for research universities and federal labs, I can attest that intellectual property protection can be very costly. Therefore, businesses need to have a strategy to make sure they do not waste time and money.

An intellectual property (IP) strategy requires an IP audit. The business name, logo, website, employee manual, employment agreements, consulting agreements, sales agreements, nondisclosure agreements, copyrightable work, products, and business processes should be audited to determine the type of protections that need to be put in place. IP protection can come in the form of trade secret, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and patents.

In conclusion, using the shot gun approach to marketing and intellectual property protection can be very costly. In these economic times, that can be catastrophic. Small businesses in particular simply cannot afford to waste time and money.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Contact Clovia at http://tinyurl.com/32cqcj9 or follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans

Recession Valentine Wish

February 13, 2011

Rather than chocolates, flowers, and jewelry, I want more clients and the ability to hire. I think most small business owners want the same. I counsel small businesses at the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center and I have been engaged in a variety of small business development programs for years. I have witnessed several business owners struggle in this economy. Our priority this Valentines Day should be to push, press, and prod for more clients, revenues, and the ability to hire others.

So, how are we going to get there? In the Dec 2009 Businessweek slideshow entitled “Advice from Renowned Business Founders – Lessons from Women and Minority Entrepreneurs”, David Chang of the Momofuku restaurant was cited stating “you can work harder! You can push yourself to the limit. You have to if you want to succeed. I know you could put more hours in. Whatever you think you can do, you can do more. You can do more and you can do it better. Whatever standard you set, you can exceed your expectations and you can be your harshest critic.” I absolutely love this!

The bottom line is that we all need to do more. We need to work smarter rather than harder. We need to operate more strategically. We need to quickly draft or obtain strategic action plans and then quickly implement them. Let’s move out troops!

In order to revenue our way out of this, we need to up our marketing and sales games. It is time to build stronger relationships with prospects and clients; price our products and services where they are affordable and appealing to the masses; and increase visibility. We can turn this down economy around. I have Faith, Persistence, Positivity, and Optimism!

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o

Dispel the Noise and Develop Strategies

January 17, 2011

We small business owners get a lot of advice from a lot of sources. We have friends, family members, mentors, coaches, trade articles, and blog posts. A friend of mine said that all she is hearing is “noise”.

Small business owners can choose to get stuck in the quagmire or sort out the bits and pieces and develop a Strategy.

I believe that every business owner should have a Strategic Marketing Plan, an Intellectual Property Protection Strategy, and a Sales Plan with clear sales goals. This article describes how to develop a Strategic Marketing Plan in 5 easy steps.

1. Decide on your geographic markets – which states, which cities
– target the familiar
o consider your past history – pull out the photo albums, scrap books, year books, resumes
 Education: elementary, high school, college,
 Family: where your family resides
 Work: where you’ve lived and worked
o Consider your travel budget

2. Conduct Research to Develop a Network of people in your geographic market
– Go after fans – develop a fan base of folks to cheer you on
o alums from elementary, high school, college, past jobs
o past co-workers
o family members
o close friends

– Go after prospects with budget
o Inc 5000 or better
o Government agencies that have historically bought the products and/or services you sell
 Research what these agencies call the products and/or services – learn “government speak”
 Research who the small business advocates and buyers are

– Go after teaming partners
o folks with extensive networks
 established business coaches, mentors, counselors
 clergy
o media
 journalists, writers
 radio
 magazines

3. Develop a List – all organizations should have a list of prospects. If you own a nonprofit, the prospects are philanthropic agencies and individuals. If you own a for profit business, the list contains potential clients.

– Who to include in your List
o include alums from elementary school, highschool, college
o include Inc 5000 or better firms
o government buyers
o teaming partners
– What to include in your list – set up fields
o Contact’ s name, organization, profession, email address, birth date, trade organizations you share, whether you are connected online (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook), mailing address
o Any other helpful information you can gather

4. Develop ad copy

There is a lot of sample sales copy and ad copy online. New copywriters can use the samples, go it alone, or hire professionals.

5. Distribute ad copy

Let the folks on your list know what you are trying to sell or about your fundraising efforts. The worse thing to do is to not work the list and let folks know what you are in business doing. Small business owners can let prospects know by email marketing; microblogging (posting information in Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter); blogging; and using direct mail.

Yes, this may all be painstaking. But, it will save time and energy in the end. Years ago when I first started my business, two small business counselors told me not to shotgun it. It is easy to fall into the error of going into a lot of different directions seeking sales. So, kindly dispel the noise by having a strategic plan and implementing the plan. No one has a magic pill to give you to alleviate the pain of building a business, or a magic seed that will instantly grow your business.

Madam C.J. Walker wrote that “There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.” Henry Ford wrote “The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

So, work hard and go on to make your business better. You can do it yourself or hire help.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o

New Years Resolutions – How to Self SWOT

November 7, 2010

New Years Resolutions are due in less than two (2) months.  The strategic planner in me urges you to conduct a quick Self SWOT to list your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The key is to be honest.  I cannot tell you how many small business owners and other professionals that remain in denial for years.  It is painful to list your weaknesses and there may be even more pain to actually do something about it.

My Self SWOT revealed the following:

Strengths:

*I write well;

*I enjoy coaching and mentoring others;

*I am very organized; and

*I am very productive.

Weaknesses:

*I have a youthful voice;

*I have debt due to the down economy;

*I have low income due to the down economy;

*I need assistants to help with sales; and

*I need to lose weight.

Opportunities

*I can hire a speech therapist;

*I can pay creditors via a debt management plan;

*I can improve sales and increase income;

*I can hire student assistants and volunteer interns;

*I can exercise and eat right.

Threats

*I am my only threat!

The real threat is how we may get in our own way.

Once you have completed your Self SWOT list, the results can become your New Years Resolutions for 2011.  Take your list of Weaknesses and resolve to do something about them to convert them into Strengths.  Plan implementation is crucial to achieving success.  Commit to viewing your Opportunities as means to convert each Weakness into Strengths.  The key is to approach this exercise with zeal, discipline and commitment.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o

Re-engineering: Balancing Patience with Time Management

October 10, 2010

I am writing this on 10-10-10. I once read that the number ten (10) means being “One with God” in Egyptian Numerology. If that is true, I am getting a triple dose today. The Godly virtue of Patience has been a common theme for me recently. I have been trying to re-engineering and rebrand my firm away from an emphasis on working with land development teams and more toward offering services that translate to and are helpful to a wider variety of industries.

Rebranding and Re-engineering requires patience. I was once told that one of my great grandmothers was a slave named Patience. I sometimes think of what she could have looked like and how she behaved. I think she was tough, strong, reserved, and quiet. Slaves were often named for a virtue their parents had or wanted them to have. Being patient is to bear misfortune and pain without complaint or irritation. Patient people have quiet, even tempered perserverance.

I have a healthy dose of patience in my fabric. Others have told me so. I also see it in myself. But, I have learned that the real challenge is time management and working with others that may not be so patience.

Here’s a case in point. You may need to hire help with rolling out sales campaigns and prospecting. If you cannot afford to hire, you solicit help with the terms and conditions (TCs) that when you get paid, they get paid for helping you. If “you” have patience, you can live with these TCs. But, if they cannot patiently await compensation, you are in trouble. Here’s a solution: hire folks that have other sources of income or compensation. For example, ideal assistance can come from retirees; married stay at home moms; and students that can earn course credit for helping you.

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I think I inherited it. Although my parents and family members never labeled themselves “entrepreneurs”, we always found innovative ways to make ends meet to survive. We sold chicken plates, sold items at flea markets, home renovations, and home cleaning. When we would hit a stumbling block, the perspective that it was minor and needed a solution. So, if you cannot afford to hire, do not give up. Just do it. Find an innovative way to just do it.

Although it takes patience to re-engineer and rebrand your firm, it also takes balance. I am learning that you cannot attribute a lengthy amount of time to “just do it” to your having the Godly virtue of patience. You could easily take your sweet time and tell others that it is alright to saunter because you have patience. Well, is your patience paying the bills? Will your patience save your company?

The balancing act is balancing having the patience to see things through with having a clear strategic plan with set goals and deadlines to have things completed. Time management is a key skill. What works for me is calendaring everything. If I want to hire help, advertising and outreach has to be put on the calendar. Now, the pressure is on. The start and end dates are set. I can tell myself that I have the patience to await responses, but I have to balance that with the reality that the responses need to come in and be acted on by a certain deadline. I put myself under a little pressure. It will not break me. If I do not get the responses I need, I find a solution. I cast a bigger fish net.

Just do it. Do it with style, class, and patience. But, do not use that virtue as an excuse to watch your vision and dreams disintegrate before your eyes. There is an old saying that if you do the same thing with the same bad results, you are insane. Well, you may call it having patience. Others see it as a mental disorder. To truly persevere and be diligent, you have to achieve real change and real results.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o