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Grow Like You Mean It

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

Benjamin Franklin

For most small business owners, the day-to-day job duties that you have can be so overwhelming that you may think that you don’t have time to ponder, much less execute, the future success of your business. But, as some have pointed out, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Now that 2018 is here, it’s the perfect time to begin thinking about what kind of goals you want to achieve and a strategy to achieve them by the year’s end. Here are some suggestions to help you and your small business achieve growth in the new year.

grow

First, begin to leverage your customer base to understand how your business can improve. Your current customers are often the best tools you have to utilize as a growing business. Talk to them. Ask questions on how you can do better or offer a better product.

Secondly, it’s important to have a clear understanding what type of objectives are realistic so that you can start taking bite-sized steps to get there. If you make too much of a stretch goal, you may end up either using too many resources to achieve an unattainable target or get discouraged when you don’t meet it.

Lastly, it’s beneficial to think about what kind of resources are available to help you achieve your goals. Utilizing the support from other professionals in your community is paramount to the success of your growth strategy. At first, it may seem like a challenge, but using all available systems of support will increase the chances of obtaining your definition of success.

Announcing 94.1 The Oasis!

The Oasis 94.1

To better serve the Charlottesville Metro Area and Central Virginia, we are proud to announce our newest radio station, The Oasis 94.1, “Today’s Christian Hits!”

Pam Garrison, a Program Director, radio personality, and host on 99.7 CYK (and, most currently, The Oasis) is head of the project. Garrison, a radio veteran in the area, is thrilled to be hosting and is excited about the newest offering from Monticello Media.

Oasis

The Oasis is the region’s only local contemporary Christian radio station featuring positive hits with artists such as Casting Crowns, Crowder, Newsboys, Natalie Grant, and Mercy Me.

Contemporary Christian is currently the fastest growing format in radio and boasts the “widest audience appeal among most demographics”– and there aren’t any signs of this trend slowing.

Tune in weekdays from 3-7 pm to connect with Pam, either on your radio or stream online. For a list of upcoming events, be sure to check out our website.

Click here for a list of our radio stations.

In Support of Small Business Saturday

Local is the new black.

You, as an entrepreneur, understand the importance of investing dollars in local markets and of supporting endeavors such as Small Business Saturday. Now is a great time to be an owner of a locally-owned enterprise.

More than ever, shoppers are aware of the benefits of investing in their neighborhoods. In 2016 alone, the US small business sector was estimated to have an estimated 28 million businesses and was responsible for 54% of all domestic sales.

Between better customer service, benefits to the local economy and direct access to an expert, the opportunities for touting the benefits of local shopping are plentiful. The good news: you don’t have to work hard to encourage consumers to act upon this idea.

business owner

There are available resources and incentives to encourage entrepreneurship here in Charlottesville and in Virginia as a whole.

It is Charlottesville Business Innovation Council‘s mission to “educate, celebrate and advocate for Charlottesville’s technology community” by giving support to the high-tech businesses in the area.

Central Virginia SCORE is a resource that serves the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange by providing mentoring and other assistance for those looking to start a business or improve their existing business strategy.

Central Virginia’s Partnership for Economic Development offers counseling, information, and training to Central Virginia’s entrepreneurs.

BlackOwnedCville is a resource that allows you to look for goods and services sourced from local businesses owned by black residents of Charlottesville.

Finally, the City of Charlottesville’s Office of Economic Development has resources available to women and minority entrepreneurs.

Growth Awaits Beyond the Comfort Zone

Many business owners and entrepreneurs are looking for the thing that sets them apart.  What makes you and your business different?  Is your business continuing to grow?  Are you innovating your product or service to improve on what you’ve done historically or in order to adapt to the changing culture and economy?  Are you stuck in the status quo, comfortable, maybe too comfortable,… even possibly in a rut?  All excellent questions that savvy business owners must ask themselves frequently in order to keep the creative juices flowing and stay ahead of their competition.

I heard the expression years ago that growth exists about an inch outside or your comfort zone.  Getting past this hurdle and opening up to new ideas or taking a fresh look at your business can make a world of difference.  This is where one may find the next big thing.  Or more realistically, at the very least, this consideration keeps work exciting, keeps the passion lit and could possibly even spark the idea that takes the business to the next level.

Entrepreneurs Prepare For Your Next Great Performance

In the article, “Leaders Succeed When They Go Where Their Fear Tells Them to Avoid“, the author uses the great analogy of a performer approaching the stage.  They often welcome the feelings of fear or anxiety to motivate them and as they overcome them, the crowd applauds.  In the article, Bill Connolly states,  “We need stability as much as we need risk. However, for leaders to realize massive success, they have to be willing to leave the safety net of stability behind and follow their fears into the unknown.”

There are many fears that can creep up for the entrepreneur, leading to doubt, hesitation and inaction.  Taking the leap beyond the constraints of the comfort zone starts with action, making a decision.  This reminds me of the inspirational speaker Charlie “Tremendous” Jones when he stated, “Don’t wait until you can make the right decision; Make a decision and then make it right”.  Of course business owners and entrepreneurs need to make informed, educated, and calculated decisions.  However, asking good questions and pushing beyond the everyday norm can stimulate expansion into new frontiers and can lead to rewarding results.  Entrepreneurs and small business owners can sit with or even welcome fears before overcoming them through bold decisions and fearless commitment.  It may not be comfortable but that’s where the growth is.

 

Best Start-Up Advice: Ignore the Competition!

The founder & CEO of web-pioneer Shareable, Tania Yuki, says that when she’s asked by budding Entrepreneurs about handling the competition her answer surprises because it seems counter-intuitive.  She says to ignore them!

As a small business she suggests that instead of wasting energy on your competition that you focus on 3 core principles that keep your energy dialed in to your strategy, your team and customers, and adding value.  She lists those core concepts as:

1- Second-guessing others is a luxury you can no longer afford.

2- Success is not a zero-sum game.

3- Know enough not to be blind-sided, then stop.

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