By Brook Faulkner
Every healthy business and organization has a solid budget. Every single one of them. Budgets are imperative and cannot be skipped. I don’t care how much money you have or how well you think you have a handle on the money… no budget means no success. No success mean no good accomplished. The moral of the story? Get a budget.
Here are 6 Online Business Budget Planners that I offer to you…
Capterra offers a free budget planner for small businesses. Yes, I said “FREE”. Need I say more?
SmartSheet offers a plethora of business budget tools. It also has a great breakdown of what exactly a business budget entails. This one is definitely worth a look.
LivePlan is not free but it is affordable and is very “entrepreneur” friendly. This software is pretty handy and is worth the small cost.
Bugeto has a free version but also offers very accessible tools to keep your finances in order. Get this app if you are looking for a way to easily share your budget/financial info.
Vertex42 has a great Business Start Up Budget that highly recommend. It’s important to know how much launching your business is actually going to cost. Take the time to plug in the numbers. It will pay off in the end.
The Business Backer offer a quick, easy to use and FREE business budget template where you can plug your numbers right in. They also offer a free worksheet too!
You don’t have to look too hard to find a business budget planner but you do have to have something with work with. Take the time to do the work when it comes to budgeting. Please. I beg you. Launching your business or organization without a budget is like skydiving without a parachute. Ugh. I don’t even want to think about how that story ends…
To learn more about budgets and money and what professional you need on your business dream team, listen to Episode 5 of the Smart Good Podcast.
Read this article if you are…
Looking for practical tips on how to do a self-inventory.
If you want a free worksheet to help you jumpstart your journey in figuring who you are.
Read this article if you are…
Looking for the benefits of self-knowledge.
Interested in understanding the 6 elements of self-knowledge that can help you understand your own identity.
Read this article if you are…
If you have heard people talking about Enneagram and you are wondering what it’s all about.
Looking to figure out what Enneagram type you may be.
Best Quote: “Hopefully we are in agreement that the Enneagram and all its theory has the power to be quite transformational for each of us. And the primary reason for that is it empowers our self-observations.”
Read this article if you are…
If you want a detailed step-by-step instructions on how to discover your personal core values and to use personal values in meaningful ways.
If you want a PDF version to print up and follow along.
Read this article if you are…
Always feeling like you “should” be this or you “should” being doing that…
You want to cultivate a life you enjoy.
Looking for more? Listen to Episode 4 of Smart Good, a podcast to help you build a business that not only makes money but also does some good in this world.
It is crucial to know yourself.
When you do not know who you are, you will waste a lot of time trying to be everyone else. What this world needs and what your business/organization needs more than anything… is for you to SHOW UP AS YOUR BEST SELF. In order to do so, you need to uncover your core identity.
When you do not know yourself your business/organization will:
1) Become the source of your chronic frustration because you haven’t take the time to make sure it aligns with the core elements of who you are as a person.
2) Become frustrated with YOU because you will lead it on many dead end paths in search of your own personal quest of self-fulfillment.
3) Become stagnant in it’s growth or launch because only the “real” you can take it where is needs to be.
Do the work. Get to know yourself.
Here’s how you can uncover your core identity:
Make the time.
In order to get to know yourself, you need to spend time with yourself by yourself.
Put aside 48 solid hours to get away from people, work responsibilities and distractions (social media, Netflix, emails, etc.)
Consider going on a silent retreat. There are wonderful benefits of taking a silent treat. A pair of headphones and good coffee shop that you can crash at works just as well.
Don’t cheat on yourself! Making the time to get to know yourself means you need to honor the integrity of this time by not allowing distractions to creep in. Use this time wisely and don’t spend it on anyone or anything else but YOU.
Get a journal.
The brain likes it when we make the connections of our thoughts to the page. Typing just doesn’t do the job. We are most likely to retain the information we uncover about ourselves if we write them down by hand. So, get out there and treat yourself to a “GETTING TO KNOW MYSELF” journal.
My Smart Good co-host and daughter, Noelle, prefers to use an old fashioned composition notebooks that she purchases from the dollar store because she says, “I’m just going to spill coffee on it, anyways.”
The bottom line is get something that you like to write in. If you need some journal inspiration, check out this list.
The hardest person to be honest with is yourself. Brené Brown, expert on vulnerability says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” If you want to truly discover who you are at your core, you will need to be vulnerable with yourself.
As you ask yourself your core identity questions, always go with your first initial gut answer … even if you don’t like it.
Write down all your thoughts even if they do not seem cohesive or connected. Trust me, there is a pattern to the chaos. Get it all out on the page and then analyze later. You will be surprised at how many connections you do make to thoughts that believed came out of nowhere.
Give yourself permission to feel all of your emotions. If you start to feel anxious or even angry, don’t try to redirect yourself. Follow the path and see where it leads. You may uncover a fear that needs to be confronted.
Dream as big as you want. There are no limitations. Let yourself make a wish list despite any obstacles you perceive. Pretend that you are four years again and that anything is possible.
If you need help to jumpstart your journey in uncovering your core identity, download this free worksheet . It will help you get started in getting to know yourself:
Knowing who you are will ultimately help you build a successful business. Don’t try to skip this important step.
The world needs you to be you.
If you would like to know more on how to uncover your core identity so you can show up as your best self, listen to Episode 4 of Smart Good: a podcast show that helps your build a business that doesn’t just make money but also does some good in the world.
We live in an era where information is plentiful and readily available…
However, not all of the plentiful and readily available information is accurate or helpful. It is important to check the source of your resource as you build your business or organization. The wrong information could cause costly mistakes. Here are my 4 favorite places to glean accurate and reliable information and advice:
A successful leader in the arena of which you want to build.
In episode 3 of the Smart Good podcast, we talked about the example of someone wanting to open a fair trade coffee shop. The best place to gather helpful information on how one can build a sustainable and successful fair trade coffee shop is by talking to coffee shop own who has already built a sustainable and successful fair trade coffee shop. Don’t be afraid of talking to the competition! In fact, make your competition your mentor. Learn from their mistakes and victories. This will save you a heck of a lot of time…
A business mentor who will coach you on the skills you need to sharpen.
A seasoned business/organizational leader can speak to specific areas that you need to grow in. Don’t be shy in asking someone you respect to teach you what they know! There is gold to be found in those who have gone before us and can shed some light on how to mature in our business/organization. Mentors want to see their mentees succeed. They often will try their best to provide the most helpful information because their motivation is your success.
Tried and tested books.
Read often and read widely (translation: be sure to include in your reading list people you don’t always 100% agree with). If you are not a big reader, may I suggest investing in Audible? I use Audible ALL time and have found that listening to audiobooks has enriched my daily commute and increased my productivity.
Podcasts with street cred.
Podcasts are a magical and a free resource that can help educate you without you having to spend a single dime. It is important, however, to make sure that the podcast you are listening to is being hosted/created by someone who can legitimately provide helpful and accurate information. So, please… Do. Your. Research. You will be surprised that there are a number of podcasts created by folks who haven’t succeeded or even possess "real life experience” in the arena of which they are now an “expert”. Here is a list of podcasts you can work your way through right now: 21 of the Best Business Podcasts You Should Listen to in 2019.
When building a company or organization, especially one with a social cause woven through it’s DNA, it is imperative to collect good, solid information. The information you curate will inform your decisions and design of how the company operates. Be picky about the source and be sure not to give every critic or naysayer your ear. Listen only to the people who have been in the fight before you and have something valuable to add to what you are hoping to achieve. Check the source and in doing so, you will build a successful and sustainable company that can and will accomplish a lot of good for this world.
To find out more information on gaining helpful information to build you business/organization with a social cause, listen to EPISODE 3 of the Smart Good Podcast: Finding the Right Resource So You Can Get the Job Done Right.
Building a company that has a strong social impact requires the ultimate customer to be clearly identified from the get-go. The company’s culture determines the social impact it has . The culture is influenced by the employees in the organization and the customers it serves. When the values of the ultimate customer are not aligned with the values of the company, it will become difficult to achieve the social impact desired.
Some questions to ask in identifying the ultimate customer may seem basic but they do need to be revisited often:
What is the age of the ultimate customer?
Is the ultimate customer still in college?
Are they well established in their career?
Do they have grown children or are they entering retirement?
Where does the ultimate customer live?
Do they live in a major city, suburb, or rural area?
Do they own or rent?
Do they reside in something modern or charmingly old?
What are the ultimate customer’s interests and hobbies?
How do they spend their free time?
How much money are they willing to invest in their interests and hobbies?
Are their interests/hobbies solo or social activities?
What kind of financial availability does the ultimate customer possess?
What is their annual income?
Where does the majority of their monthly income pay for?
What are they saving up for?
What areas of concern does the ultimate customer have for this world?
What nonprofits do they already donate to?
What social issues are they passionate about?
What are the willing to roll up their sleeves and fight for?
When properly identified and creativly marketed, the ultimate customer will propel the company’s mission to achieve the social impact it desires. Additionally, the customer becomes the loudest voice for the social cause the company wishes to serve. This is why it is strategic and smart to consistently evaluate if who you are selling to is the same person you want to help you make this world a better place.
“What if you could make money doing what you love while making the world a better place? I mean, is that even possible, Dad?”
My daughter placed her half drunk coffee mug on the table and awaited my answer patiently…
Is it possible? Of course it is! It’s more possible NOW then ever! The opportunity for individuals to lead companies who have structured their model and culture to engage with direct social impact is not only in abundance… it’s preferred. It is the “Upgraded American Dream”.
Making money for the sake of making money is no longer satisfying new entrepreneurs and start ups. They want to contribute meaningfully the cause of “good” in this world. They are looking for partnerships and opportunities to engage with “bringing changing” and this is not just a “new way of doing business”… it has become THE WAY of doing business.
However, companies need to be smart in how they cultivate a culture of “social good” within their organization. There are many foundational principles that need to be in order to sustain these efforts. The good news is that if they build well, they will accomplish their mission. I call the “Smart Good” model: strategic building for social impact.
After I told my daughter that the “Upgraded American Dream” was indeed, possible, she leaned in and said, “Okay. Let’s do this!” We have been recording our conversations as we discuss how she can build her company to accomplish “smart good”. You can listen to the SMART GOOD podcast on…
Enjoy these reads with some Shepherd’s Pie and a tall Guinness:
by Erica Roberts at Guidestar
by Andy Robinson at Bloomerang
The following reads are best consumed with a gourmet hamburger and a bottle of Not Your Grandfather’s Root Beer:
by Steve Dubb at NPQ
Enjoy these reads with an old school Peach Snapple Ice Tea and a pizza bagel.