Feature Article: Lay the Foundation First and Then Write Your Plan

Business Owner in the Spotlight
Stephanie Lewis
Lew West Business Consultants

Refueling Recommendations
Make-it-Fly® Advisory Boards
Advisory Board Openings

Make-it-Fly® MarketPlace

Next Make-it-Fly® Café

ISSN# 1552-3705

January 20, 2009
Volume 6, Issue 2

"In-Flight Refueling" is published twice a month.

Click here to read archived newsletters.

A Note From Dave & Victoria

The Make-it-Fly Retreat, Live by Design in 2009, last Friday was an outrageous success! Barbara Brannen and Terri Starck did a terrific job. Those attending received a plan with structure and accountability built in. For many, this was a life-changing event bringing clarity of purpose. The wonderful weather, scrumptious food and magnificent setting at beautiful Mount Vernon Country Club were superb.

The following was typical of comments in emails we received:

“Thank you for the GREAT speakers today! I have been to a lot of seminars, workshops, etc. and this was indeed ONE of the very BEST! It was on target, concise, focused, results oriented and FUN!”

We’ve already had requests from those unable to attend for an encore!

We’re excited to introduce Dianne Ochoa, our first franchisee. Dianne is located in the Los Angeles area where she works with business owners. She’s already enjoyed running several Advisory Boards there.

If you're in the L.A. area, you can contact Dianne at 866-641-4797 ext. 702.

Coming very soon… Sky-Place—Make-it-Fly’s social networking space. We’ll keep you informed!

Enjoy a super week!

Dave and Victoria!

Business Owner in the Spotlight

Stephanie Lewis
Lew West Business Consultants

Ask any entrepreneur what the most difficult area of business is and hands down the top of the list includes business plans and operating manuals. Stephanie Lewis of Lew West Business Consultants takes the pain out of these two areas for small business owners.

“The business has evolved from just writing business plans to utilizing a company’s information to build that company an operating manual,” Stephanie says. “The idea is if they received a call that required them to leave town for six months without their phone, they could hand over their operating manual to a knowledgeable person and still have enough business remaining when they returned that it can be resurrected.”

Stephanie offers two choices: she writes your business plan or operating manual for you or for lower cost, you can receive the materials and Stephanie will assist you in creating either of the documents. “If funding is desired,” Stephanie says, “all possible assistance is offered.”

Stephanie incorporated the business in 1991 after several years as a sole proprietor. “I am most excited about the latest service addition,” she says. “Lew West now has the personnel and capabilities to go into an established small or mid-sized company and supply an objective, full analysis of their business. That company is then given a comprehensive report of our findings and suggestions.”

Q: What do you find most fulfilling about running your business?
SL: I love being able to help business owners validate where they currently are and assisting them in laying out a tangible path toward their ultimate dream goal. I love sharing their dream, and then being a part of making that dream a tangible reality. It is never boring to watch a business develop its own personality.

Q: What motivated you to start this business?
SL: While working in the upper management level of corporate, I began starting small business on the side to build and sell. Unfortunately, it required a businesses plan and I hated writing them. After being successful with my first business that had a business plan, I chose not to write another business plan and promptly tanked the next two companies I tried. After grudgingly acknowledging that a plan was essential to my success, I forced myself to develop the most user friendly BP I could. As I mastered the basics, I began to help others when asked, and now I write, or consult on, BPs for anyone needing organization and an active operational plan – and now I actually enjoy doing it!

Q: What book has been most helpful to you in your business?
E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, and Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultze (Starbucks); two great versions of developing a business from the ground up.

Q: Who has influenced you most in your life?
My mother. Even though she personally was never involved with business, she lived vicariously through me and was forever convinced that there was nothing “we” couldn’t do. I’m not sure I was always as convinced as she was, but it was very comforting to know she was staunchly confident and supportive of whatever I was doing.

Q: What has proved to be your most successful marketing strategy?
SL: My most successful marketing strategy has been, and is, developing long-term friendships, and being a sincere friend in return. Every person is special in their own way, and it seems the more friends you have the more business you have. Your friends will recommend you without you even having to ask because they know they can trust you to take care of their friends.

Q: What have been the greatest challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing, in your business?
My greatest challenge was to accept the sincere help of all of the wonderful people in the marketplace. Even those that weren’t quite as sincere offered a contribution to the learning curve. Now that I am accepting offers of assistance to reach my goals, doors are opening and the future is becoming much more grand than what I could have ever achieved by myself.

Q: How are you benefiting from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
I am a devoted fan of Make-it-Fly® and what it has done for me. When I came into Make-it-Fly® three years ago, I was new to the area and wanted to meet people in the marketplace, and meet them I did. Having broken into a number of new locations over the years and familiar with the time it usually takes, I found that through Make-it-Fly® I became acquainted with more quality people in less time than I ever have been able to in the past.

Q: What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?
SL: You can’t afford not to be a part of Make-it-Fly®. It keeps your thinking fresh, introduces new avenues and possibilities for you and your business, and challenges you to grow out of your comfort zone.

Stephanie Lewis can be reached by phone at: 303-459-4971, or visit her website at: www.lewwest.com.

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Dave Block, Co-Founder of Make-it-FlyDave’s Networking Tip:

Two things to avoid as you network and in life:
1. Promoting yourself and your business—leave that to others.
2. Trying to manipulate the thoughts, feelings and/or actions of others.

Feature Article

Victoria MunroLay the Foundation First
and Then Write Your Plan
By Victoria Munro

“If you don’t have a plan, how will you know when you get there? The single greatest mistake most entrepreneurs make is embarking on a business without a written plan.”
~ Jay Conrad Levinson and Seth Godin, The Guerilla Marketing Handbook

A written plan, however simple, that realistically reflects your business can be an amazingly effective tool. In a nutshell, it’s your road map to success.

Among other benefits, a business plan will help you:

Keep on track and prevent expensive, time-wasting detours
Convincingly demonstrate the validity of your business for potential investors
Rightly prioritize your daily, monthly and annual goals
Wisely allocate resources
More easily identify and quickly resolve problems
Affirm your sense of purpose
Give meaning to immediate tasks, even the mundane little chores

Before writing your plan, it’s vital to lay a solid foundation based on understanding who you are and where you want to take your life. At nine years old, I made a plan to own a chain of flower shops—seemed like it would be fun. I opened my first store at 17 and added another when I was 19. I worked hard, and in my early 20’s was well on the way to achieving my dream. Yet instead of being elated, I was disappointed and frustrated. This wasn’t what I wanted after all. I needed to stop and reflect on where I really wanted to take my life.

Since then, I’ve found it helpful to give careful thought to the following foundations before writing plans. Putting these in place first will keep you focused, motivated and moving towards a rewarding life you’ll enjoy. Without these foundations in place, you can do “all the right things,” but they probably won’t work for you or bring you fulfillment over the long haul.

Three Essentials: Foundations for Your Plan

You Must Know:

1. What You Value Most
Clearly identifying and being true to your personal values will energize and influence all areas of your life and business. These values are the non-negotiables that are truly important to you—the principles you won’t compromise. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, we all have and live by personal values. Our actions and the way we live our lives demonstrate the values we hold dear.
Click here to learn more.

2. Your Definition of Success
We use the word “success” frequently today, often without giving much thought to what we really mean. Each person’s understanding of success is unique. How you personally define it will have a significant impact on how you use your time, run your business and live your life. Think about what success means to you? Write down your definition. This may take a little soul-searching, but it will prove invaluable. Remember, success isn’t a destination.
Click here to learn more.

3. What Your “Big Picture” Looks Like
Ask yourself what you want your life and your business to look like in the future. Conceptualize it—see it, feel it, smell it. Be specific. Where is the business located? What sort of a building houses the business? Are there employees? How many? What is the annual revenue? Who are your biggest clients? What is your role in the company? How are you spending your time? Envision everything, down to the smallest details, exactly as you’d like to see it.
Click here to learn more.

  “Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them.”  
~ Stephen Covey

An effective business plan is a dynamic document to be made use of often, tweaked, updated and sometimes completely revised. It should not be gathering dust on the shelf or stashed away in the file cabinet.

Before you write your plan, I encourage you to base it on these foundations.

Enjoy your journey!

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Victoria’s Marketing Advice

Maintain Steady Sales
Make a habit of spending regular time each day or each week on marketing, even when you’re really busy and have plenty of sales. Block out ‘marketing time’ on your calendar and work at it faithfully. Consistent marketing will help to smooth out the cash flow roller coaster.

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Make-it-Fly Marketplace

The Riverfront

The Riverfront specializes in well crafted, richly satisfying occasions that balance aesthetics, personality and party. The site is versatile, accommodating groups from fifteen to five hundred. Features include: two dance floors with professional sound and lighting, a fireplace nook, three bars, outdoor patio, and gazebo. Our personal chef, custom menus, and full suite of inclusions rank us paramount in our industry.

Call 303.865.8500 today
and schedule your holiday event!

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READING THIS AD? THEN WHY NOT PUT YOURS HERE TOO? The In-Flight Refueling Ezine reaches more than 2,700 entrepreneurs, small-biz owners, consultants and marketers. Reserve your advertising spot today in the next In-Flight Refueling Ezine,

Paid Advertising Disclaimer: Make-it-Fly® LLC does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the paid advertisements above or the quality of any products, services, information, or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any ad. It's common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing any product.

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Refueling Recommendations

The Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101

Each Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 program consists of 12 non-competing business owners who meet once a month for three consecutive months. In the spirit of giving, they offer each other solutions, ideas, resources and encouragement. Dave and Victoria facilitate each group and share powerful tools to assist business owners in reaching their goals and living more balanced lives.

If you have experienced a Make-it-Fly® program, please share the following openings with other business owners who need support. Call Dave for more information at 720-962-8888.

Programs are held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Current program openings in Denver:

  • Thursdays - January 29, February 26, March 26, 2009 Full
  • Fridays - February 13, March 13, April 10, 2009
  • Tuesday - March 3, April 7, May 5

Click here to sign up for Advisory Boards.
Or call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Alumni Boards are groups of 12-14 small business owners who have participated in at least one Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and wish to continue the support and accountability with a group of like-minded, giving business associates. Members meet once a month for a three-hour meeting. If you completed the initial Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and are interested in more information on Alumni Boards, call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Make-it-Fly® Café Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each other
High altitude networking, where exceptional people help each other.

Next Café:

Date: Thursday, February 26, 2009

Time: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Location: The Riverfront
2852 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton (One block west of Santa Fe)

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Contact Make-it-Fly® - Dave and Victoria:

email: info@make-it-fly.com
voice: 720-962-8888
web: www.Make-it-Fly.com

Reprint Permission:
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