How to Know if it’s Time to Throw Away Your Business Plan and Start From Scratch

Ricardo Ibarra of Trio Group discusses how to evaluate if your strategic business plan is working for you.

Summary

  • “A well-written business plan is a strategic exercise in understanding the people your business seeks to serve. And the work you do to gain more insight and knowledge about your ideal client will serve as beacon to guide you as you grow your business.”
  • Not sure if your business is on track to reach your goals? In this video, learn the five components of an effective business plan and how to evaluate your business plan to see if it is working.
  • “Most business owners create a solution or an offer and expect everything to come up roses. A clear understanding of your ideal clients, the market in which you operate, and the money required to develop, create, and produce your solution are all important considerations if you want to ensure your business has long term success.”
  • Schedule time this week to evaluate the strategic value of your business plan based on these five areas.
  • Watch the video to get the full training.
  • Did you identify areas to improve your business? Download the FREE Small & Minority Business Checkup for the 10 questions you must ask to help you get your business back on track and thriving.

About the TAS Program

The City of Seattle and Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (Northwest Mountain MSDC) have partnered in the development and launch of the City of Seattle’s Technical Assistance Services program. This program is designed to support small businesses in the development of their capabilities thereby making them more competitive.

This program is sponsored by the City of Seattle and hosted by the Northwest Mountain MSDC. For more information, visit the TAS webpage.

About the Presenter

Ricardo Ibarra combines over 15 years of marketing and business experience to help small and minority-owned businesses thrive in today’s digital economy. Combining his signature energetic style with the latest marketing strategies, Ricardo has helped dozens of small and disadvantaged business enterprises reach new clients, launch new products, and gain a sense of confidence as they grow their business.

WA Department of Commerce ScaleUp Business Trainings

Courtesy reposting from the Washington State Department of Commerce:

Three new sessions of ScaleUp: The Rebuild Edition free business trainings scheduled

More than 350 growth-oriented small businesses helped during pandemic

OLYMPIA, WA – “ScaleUp: The Rebuild Edition,” an education and training partnership between the Washington State Department of Commerce and Thurston Economic Development Council, has scheduled three new eight-week course tracks for small businesses interested in achieving exponential growth as the economy reopens.

Each interactive course is two hours long and held once a week for eight weeks. The ideal participant is a business owner or president who has operated a business for at least two years and had pre-COVID annual gross revenue in excess of $100,000. The course, which ordinarily costs $1,599, is free to qualifying businesses, thanks in part to a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The program is based on the Thurston Center for Business Innovation’s ScaleUp program, which uses the proven Kauffman Foundation’s Fast Trac® Growth Venture coursework as its foundation. To date, more than 350 businesses throughout the state have benefited from the program.

Participants in the ScaleUp coursework will learn how to strengthen their strategic decision-making, create new operational efficiencies, explore new markets and improve the bottom line. Topics include creating efficient business systems, improving product/service alignment, creating a stronger competitive advantage in the marketplace, understanding financial statements and key business drivers, increasing sales leads and improving the sales funnel. A special “study hall” provides additional opportunities for private mentoring and coaching.

“Support for small businesses is a key building block for strengthening communities as we enter a post-pandemic world,” said Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “ScaleUp: The Rebuild Edition offers participants mastery of essential skills that will help them grow and take advantage of opportunities as Washington’s economy fully reopens.”

Interested businesses can choose from three different tracks at http://MyStartup365.com/programs/scaleup. Class size is limited to allow significant time for questions and group interaction.

Session #6 Wednesdays: July 7 – Sept. 1, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Session #7 Thursdays: July 8 – Sept. 2, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Session #8 Thursdays: July 8 – Sept. 2, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

There is no cost to qualifying businesses. For more information, contact James Davis, jdavis@thurstonedc.com, or (360) 464-6051.

 

Business Conference Wrap Up

On Thursday June 17th the Northwest Mountain MSDC held the third and final part of the 2021 Business Conference, held virtually. The Council was grateful to host two industry leaders and MBEs to speak on their experience.

Carmen Nazario, President and Founder of Elyon International, shared her journey from learning English when her family moved to the United States, to joining the US Army and gaining experience in Information Technology, and then gaining experience in civil industries and how the inspiration for Elyon International was born.

Dicran ‘D’ Arnold, Area Vice President for Business Development at World Wide Technology, also joined to speak on his decades of experience growing as an MBE, and offering valuable advice and insight on building your company, finding opportunities through relationship building and lifting up your peers.

In Council news and updates, President & CEO Fernando Martinez presented survey data collected from Council Members and MBEs regarding their attitudes towards the reopening of the economy, and discussed insights from the data. These charts are available to view in the conference presentation, linked below.

The Council is grateful to all those that attended each part of the Business Conference this year, and we thank our event sponsor T-Mobile and all our annual sponsors who make our work possible.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be returning to live events for the final events of the year, while still offering virtual options for those events. Stay tuned for more event announcements coming soon!

View Presentation Slides

Virtual Business Conference Part Two

The Northwest Mountain MSDC hosted part two of its annual Business Conference on Thursday May 20th. This is the second year the Council has hosted the conference virtually, due to the Pandemic.

It was a successful morning of networking between MBEs and Corporate/Public Agency Members. Large group conversations included topics around reopening of the regional economy, struggles during the pandemic and forecasting future market demands as states reopen. Each participant also attended a full slate of one-on-one meetings and roundtables designed to connect them with other MBEs and members well suited to their current goals. The Council is appreciative of all those who shared valuable advice and is glad to see many new connects formed!

The third and final part of the conference will be held on Thursday June 17th.

Fernando Martinez Defines the 7 Attributes of True Leadership

“Leadership is the ability to motivate and lead individuals, teams, and organizations through discovery, discussion, and actions they would not have arrived upon on their own.”

It took a lifetime of work, research, experimentation, and refining before I arrived at my definition of leadership.  To become a great leader, more importantly a visionary-leader requires a significant deal of work and conscious effort. I had to be very intentional in my search for understanding what a great leader does, why a great leader seeks this role, and ultimately understand how to become a visionary.

1st attribute of Leadership – Desire:  I consciously committed myself to become a great leader.  It takes time, effort and risk.

2nd attribute of Leadership – Be a Teacher:  I have enough confidence in myself to be willing to share all my learning’s from my work, education, and experience.

3rd attribute of Leadership – Challenge:  I have been willing to lean forward into risk throughout my career and being a provocative thinker: consistently asking the question “So What?” – not to be difficult but to encourage thoughtfulness and deep level 2nd and 3rd level thinking (i.e., critical thinking).

4th attribute of Leadership – Courage:  Intelligently face challenges.  It takes courage to lead into the fray day-after-day, defining accountability, holding people accountable, and putting the right people in the right seats.

5th attribute of Leadership – Team Builder:  Respect for everyone is the foundation of building a team: Respect for themselves; their teammates, and, for the organization.  Respect for the leader that sets the course and helps them understand how to get there.

6th attribute of Leadership – Collaborator:  Very early in my career I found that all the good leaders pull all the appropriate resources/stakeholders together and help them achieve a common goal.

7th attribute of Leadership – Communicator:  Without the appropriate level of communication the other characteristics of leadership are of no value.  A good leader communicates, communicates, communicates!

Lastly, as these seven attributes build upon each other and become an innate skill, we achieve the pinnacle of leadership – Insightfulness – Visionary:  Through my years of experience I feel I have moved from being a first line employee to becoming a Visionary – a state of “Enlightened Competence.”  This is a state true leaders desire to achieve.  It is the state where we see things no one else sees as well as gaps, solutions, opportunities, and improved methodologies that no one else sees. This is the highest state of Leadership we can achieve – become a Visionary, become a Great Leader!

Download – Fernando Martinez Defines the 7 Attributes of True Leadership

Covid-19 2020 Impact by Fernando Martinez

President and CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, Fernando Martinez, shares information regarding the impact of Covid-19 on Minority Business Enterprises and Corporate/Public Agency Members in 2020.

 

COVID-19 2020 Impact Presentation

Strategic Approach Samples by Fernando Martinez

President and CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, Fernando Martinez, helps Corporate Members strategize Supplier Diversity efforts for the future. Below is a sample deck including some of the Council’s approaches towards equity in Diversity and Inclusion practices in supply chains.

Strategic Approaches Northwest Mountain MSDC Sample Deck