VIDEO – Four Organizations with Free Tools to Help You Launch or Grow Your Business!

There are some organizations that I really wish that I had known about at the start of launching my business. Not only have these organizations played a significant role in helping people launch their businesses, but a number of these organizations have also played a part in helping businesses get to the 7-figure mark and beyond from my research.

The best part is, these organizations offer many of their resources for FREE!

And so I created a super short video to share these resources with you! 

You can also find out more information on the organizations I mention in the video at the sites below:

1) SCORE: A nonprofit supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides free local mentors, e-mentors, resources, and templates

https://www.score.org/ 

2) SBDC (Small Business Development Centers): An organization funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides aspiring and current small business owners with free consulting and low-cost training services

https://www. .gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc

3) Apple Business Collection: A series of hands-on sessions for business owners and entrepreneurs to explore business tools and network with fellow colleagues

https://www.apple.com/today/collection/business-collection/

4) Facebook Community Boost: An event happening in major cities across the country featuring free business training and workshops for small businesses

https://www.facebook.com/business/m/community-boost

Please watch, like, and share this video with anyone you think this might be helpful for!

I truly hope that this video is a blessing to you!

Onwards and upwards!

When The Unexpected Happens… Encouragement To Keep On Going

I want to send encouragement your way, today. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to a number of clients, friends, and colleagues that have had some heartbreaking things happen, negative health surprises come up, family issues arise, and more.  Some people are truly going through tough times, and if not you, maybe you know of your colleague or friend who might be experiencing some frustrating times. If this is you or someone you know, I wanted to send love, support, and encouragement your way.

During college, I was a mentor to many students. I was part of maybe 30 to 40 organizations total while I was there, and to continue mentoring, I started a massive Facebook group with my mentees soon after college. At one point, when I couldn’t sustain posting frequently to the group, I let my mentees know I was closing the group down. One of my mentees asked me what was the best and most powerful advice I could give as I was closing out the group. I said, “Always have your shield on. Be equipped with whatever spiritual strength, peace, strategies, heart, or whatever you need to battle against the problems that you don’t know will come in the future.”  I knew even then, in my early 20’s, that life would have some big challenges. Now at 33, I see that advice was so right to give. That mentee years later had a near-fatal scooter accident and lost most of his memory. He now has regained his memory, works in law as corporate counsel for a huge company, is married, and is doing well. I had my share of heartbreaks, frustrations, and challenging seasons too over the years, and I can remember crying profusely one day years ago. I was so confused as to where God wanted me after my employer had been fired and everyone was fired in my office except for me, who had 6 months to find another position. In the past, I thought I would be working at that job for years. Within the next one and a half years afterward, I had met the man who would be my husband, moved to another state, enrolled in life coaching certification, and started Daphne Valcin Coaching. God had a plan.

For some on this list, you may be dealing with other intense issues–I have had friends who had friends or family pass away this past week. One of my friends texted me this past week and said, “I just found out today that the company I work for is shutting down tomorrow.” Another friend didn’t get a job he really, really wanted and had been trying to look for another job for years now. These are all examples of truly difficult challenges, and while I made calls, had conversations, and sent encouragement to each of these friends, the common theme that each understood was, “This season too shall pass.” My friends each processed their challenges in a way where they thought through, “What is God showing me through this?” “What’s next?” “How can I find peace in the midst of this situation?” 

I am not a licensed therapist, but I can tell you in my life experience that I think it’s healthy for you to think of some of those questions my friends asked themselves above as you experience challenges. Do take time to process what you’re experiencing and take time to grieve a situation, person, job, or anything else that might have you feeling loss or sadness. Then, determine, “What is God showing me through this? What’s next? How can I find peace in the midst of this situation,” and remember what I wrote about when it comes to having your shield. “How can I be equipped with whatever spiritual strength, peace, strategies, heart, or whatever I need to battle against the problems that I don’t know will come in the future, especially if I know challenges in certain areas of my life impact me greatly.”

Some very practical things you can do now to be prepared for whatever challenges come your way and to have peace in the midst of challenges to come:

1) Fill your mind and spirit with content that brings you peace 

Whether it’s audio, T.V. shows, books, conferences or seminars that focus on spiritual strength, peace, personal development, coping skills, or perseverance, immerse yourself in content regularly that feeds your mind and spirit, even if you do this quarterly within the year. This way, you shift your internal dialogue and are equipped to bounce back and be a strong support to others.

2) Pray/meditate daily

An article that I read cited that five research-based results of prayer are increased trust; self-control improvement; increased kindness; increased forgiveness; and decreased effects of stress. Take time to connect with your internal thoughts, a higher power, positive possibilities, and gratefulness daily.

3) Process your thoughts or deep feelings that might be keeping you down

Whether you choose to seek therapy, or find that journaling your thoughts helps you to process them, or become part of a support circle associated with a challenge or common interests, do seek a platform or multiple platforms where you can process your thoughts, be encouraged, and feel equipped to move forward.

I felt this post was just what some of you needed me to write this week, and so I truly hope it’s helpful as you continue to walk through your respective journeys. Be encouraged, and continue to be equipped for the greatness that is coming your way.

And remember, I believe in you!

If this post was helpful in any way, as always, definitely comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com to let me know, and feel free to share with family or friends who might benefit.

 

 

 

Photo by Henri Meilhac on Unsplash

Three amazing, free business resources to build a profitable business

Whether you’ve been in business for a while now or you’re just beginning, you may have come to the realization that finding resources to build up your business can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming.

On one end of the spectrum, many small business owners I know have been through a season in their businesses where it seems like they can’t find the right resources to grow their businesses, and on the other end of the spectrum, after being in business for a while, it can seem like there are way too many resources to sift through.

In an effort to share just a few high-quality resources that are full of amazing information on how to build a powerful business, I am sharing this list of resources that can support your business vision whether you haven’t yet made a profit or you’re running a multi-million dollar enterprise and looking to grow. Though the resources below are all associated with the U.S. Small Business Administration, they all offer unique information, tools, and insight on what it takes to be successful in business.

1 – SCORE

For 50 years, SCORE has helped small businesses launch, grow, and achieve their goals. This nonprofit’s work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and offers:

  • FREE in-person, email, or video-based business mentoring from experts in 62 industries,
  • FREE business tools, templates, and strategies through a comprehensive online database, and
  • Low-cost or free business workshops offered both online or in-person

How I recommend you use it: 

  • Spend ample time exploring every facet of this website.
  • Schedule a regularly occurring time to check out some of the webinars or online training available on the site as well, especially those related to areas of business that you believe are priorities for you.
  • One tool on this website that I believe can be a critical, helpful tool for your business are the mentors. I suggest spending time really researching any prospective mentor you connect with whether that’s the in-person mentor you’re assigned to or e-mentors available on the site for you to reach out to. Ensure the mentor you choose to work with long-term is one that you can connect with and that serves you best when it comes to your business growth. You’ll find individuals with decades of industry expertise who are all willing to support you and your business–a priceless tool that can be hard to find. Take advantage of it!

The SCORE website is: https://www.score.org/

2 – The Small Business Administration (SBA)

Check out the SBA website and you’ll find a plethora of resources associated with starting a business, managing a business, getting loans and grants, and contracting. You’ll find templates, presentations, explanations and more–so much so that one could probably spend months and months exploring the content on this site alone. It’s definitely a comprehensive resource, and if you’re in business, the more you understand business at its core, the more equipped you’ll be to be successful. Since 1953, the SBA “has also given out millions of loans, guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other forms of assistance to small businesses” according to the SBA website.

How I recommend you use it: 

  • Spend ample time exploring every facet of this website.
  • Check out the media available on the website and schedule time to work through the resources there that are most critical to your business.
  • Under the “Local Assistance” tab, determine which local SBA Office(s) and Resource Partner(s) are most relevant to you and what support you need and take advantage of those in-person resources.
  • If you’re thinking about seeking business funds or becoming a contractor, review all resources under the “Loans & Grants” or “Contracting” sections and/or schedule time to get one-time or ongoing support from an SBA staff member.

The SBA website is: https://www.sba.gov/

3 – Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

Hundreds of SBDCs are located throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rica, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each center has advisors who provide aspiring small business owners and current small business owners with free and low-cost resources. According to the SBDC website, their areas of training and support include:

  • business plan development,
  • manufacturing assistance,
  • financial packaging and lending assistance,
  • exporting and importing support,
  • disaster recovery assistance,
  • procurement and contracting aid,
  • market research help,
  • 8(a) program support, and
  • healthcare guidance.

How I recommend you use it: 

  • Take advantage of the free training you can get from qualified, veteran experts in the areas above by scheduling time to meet with an SBDC representative. You can even use the meeting to help you think through what your areas of focus should be in your business as you seek to launch or grow. Ensure that whoever you choose to get support from is a good fit and that you feel that you are gaining practical insight and experiencing forward movement in your business through your sessions. Schedule time for ongoing support as part of your professional development as a business owner.
  • Another approach you can take is to take the time to analyze the areas of growth in your business, and then develop a plan to prioritize certain areas of development in your business so that when you reach out to an SBDC representative, you’ll maximize the value of your time with that individual.
  • Set aside time to implement the strategies and tools you gain from each session with your SBDC contact.

The SBDC website is: https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc

There is an African proverb that states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  Why not take advantage of experts who are ready to support you as you move towards the dreams and goals that you hope to achieve in business? All of these resources were super helpful to me in my business, and I’m continuing to utilize them as I grow and expand my coaching practice. My hopes for you are that, at minimum, you take a look at each resource and see what might be helpful to you as an aspiring or current business owner if you haven’t already explored these sites. And hopefully, you’ll find them as valuable as I did!

As always, if you found this post helpful, please share it with colleagues, friends, and family who you think might benefit from it.

Also, feel free to comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com with any thoughts you have on this post!

Photo credit: Rayi Christian Wicaksono 

You CAN make $ doing what you love! Check out these 3 tips!

CashFlowSimonCunninghamFlickr

Yesterday, I spoke to my colleague, Rodney Elam, who raises quite a bit of money for a Washington, D.C. nonprofit. We spoke about strategies to build the financial capacity of mission-driven organizations like mine. He reinforced what I know is true. You can definitely make money doing something you love that impacts society.

Though there are various funding models for businesses and nonprofits, what stays consistent in almost every model is that relationships and strategy matter.

In trying to get investors to fund your business, putting on events, writing grants, creating campaigns around a social issue, or seeking out wealthier individuals who are simply passionate about your cause, your ability to be able to have critical and strategic conversations with key contacts can totally change the dynamic of your organization through the additional funding it could provide.

Though there are many steps involved in gaining the funding you need to move your dream forward, there are 3 things I would suggest you do to increase your organization’s cash flow.

1) Determine what funding model and strategy is best for your organization and industry. Click on the following links for a few examples of strategies that have worked for major nonprofits and for-profitcompanies (and certain strategies certainly work for both nonprofits and for-profits):
“Ten Nonprofit Funding Models” by Stanford Social Innovation Review
“10 Practical Ways to Improve Small Business Profitability” from YFS Magazine

2) Create a list of top prospects for funding, whether those are individuals, businesses, foundations or other sources. Create a priority list and timeline of when you will call or visit these prospects. Emailing is the least effective method of outreach, unless you know someone who has a personal connection with the entity and can facilitate an introduction. No matter how you reach out, a personal connection with someone who can make an introduction is always a plus!

3) Know where you are and where you want to be as an organization. You never know when you might meet a prospective funder or be speaking to someone who is connected to a funding source. At all times, and especially before your conversations with prospective funders, know where your organization is financially, and what small, medium, and large-scale funding would benefit your organization. Know how much money would cause a certain scale of impact on your organization, and be able to vocalize that. Don’t forget to let the individual or entity know that you know about them, want to learn more, and care about their work as well.

Stay tuned for more advice on what else you can do to pursue your dream of having an impact on society through your business!

Article by Daphne Valcin, Your Empowerment Specialist

Photo credit: Simon Cunningham (Flickr)