Scattered to Streamlined

Relief from Overwhelm

I don’t have to get into the detail of how so many of us are stressed and overwhelmed. Electronic communication has become both a blessing and a cause for anxiety.

I realized today that, after close to three straight weeks of being primarily on the computer and phone, I needed a break. I imagine I’m not alone.

Come join me in stepping away – whether it be for just a few hours, a day or longer.

Here are some suggestions for healthy, calming use of this time. What appeals to you?

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  • Small Business Loans
    • Paycheck Protection Program
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loan
    • Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan
    • SBC Debt Relief
    • SBA Express Bridge Loans
  • New York Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • New York Insurance Premium Deferment
  • Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
  • James Beard Foundation – Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
  • Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Expanded FMLA Requirements
  • NY State Paid Leave
    • NY Paid Sick Leave
    • NY Paid Family Leave
  • Technology Tools for Small Businesses

Who Loves Ya Baby?

Testimonials, recommendations, and reviews remain an untapped marketing resource for many businesses. Often people are hesitant about asking for positive feedback of their work, yet these same people may be the first to sing the praises of others. I love spreading the word when I am impressed with the service I receive.

So why hold back on asking for positive feedback for your own business?

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Testimonial Placement:


Recently, I attended a meeting of a local business networking group. Each meeting, one member is allotted extra time to discuss their work. This week, it was my turn. Instead of talking about myself, I asked another member with whom I had recently done some consultative work to instead describe his experience of working with me.  (of course having asked permission beforehand)

I may speak until I’m blue in the face about what I do and it will not have nearly the impact of someone else describing my work with them. This gentleman provided a glowing review that also resulted in a vibrant discussion of business coaching (and testimonials) among the group. 

Social Media:

Begin with your LinkedIn profile.  Ask for a recommendation of your work and, at the same time, request permission to use the recommendation in other materials. Multi-purpose!

Don’t stop there. Take your best recommendation (or testimonial from elsewhere) and place it at the top of your profile summary. Your best review is the first thing someone sees when he or she looks at your profile.

Here is an example of mine:

Facebook also provides the option to place reviews on business pages. These appear right at the top – prime Facebook real estate!

Website and Promotional Materials:

Place testimonials throughout your website and promotional materials so people looking at your site may, right away, see descriptions of others’ opinions of your work.

Online review sites:

For any of these review sites, you will want to regularly check your reviews and respond, thanking people who praise your work. Even a reasonable, problem-solving response on a bad review can be helpful. Encourage your happy clients and customers to post reviews here.

Non-industry Specific: is a free site that helps people find local businesses. Yelp was critical for me during our moves to four different cities in the five years. Do you know how difficult it is to find a new veterinarian, mechanic, hair stylist, and even restaurants with each new move?! Yelp made it easy.  Join me there: and reviews are posted for every type of business imaginable. Reviews on these sites are critical because they appear in Internet search results without people even having to click on the company link.

Ask, Ask, Ask for those reviews!

Industry Specific Sites: Look for online review portals specifically tailored to your business industry. For example, if someone wanted to find help with home repairs, they might begin with Angie’s List or Home Advisor (owned by the same company, BTW). Doctors reviews may be found on or

Next Steps:

  1. Review these sites (and others!) to determine where the best fit is for your business.
  2. Make sure your business profile on online sites is complete and attractive. 
  3. Ask every satisfied customer or client for a testimonial, recommendation, or review!
  4. Bask in the love . . .

BTW – How badly did I date myself with that Kojak photo?

1 Year/12 Weeks: Your 5 Step Best-Year-Yet Business Plan

Business owner – Executive – Team member

No matter what you do or what role you play, if you seek to reach new heights in your work, pulling together your annual business plan is critical.

One Day – Solitary Place

If you have not already, set aside one day completely devoted to your planning before year-end. Mark it on your calendar. Decide where your planning will take place and book it, if need be. Often people take themselves on mini-retreats to accomplish this. One year, I booked a quiet room with a desk in the Hamptons. Glorious view of the ocean and a great rate as it was off-season. Make this planning day inspiring.

5 Step Business Plan Outline

When you are settled in and ready to create your Best Year Yet Plan, follow this simple outline.

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FREE! and Low-cost Small Business Resources

Starting a business typically requires a significant investment of monetary resources. Creating your initial business plan does not have to!

Think I’m shooting myself in the foot here? Read through to the end and you will see when it IS appropriate to invest in a business coach for help with your planning.

Below, you will find listings of some of my favorite free and low-cost resources for small businesses to use both in their planning and for start-up support. Start exploring and you’ll be gob smacked by what great and in-depth information is available. 

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Is your business idea a good one?

I often speak with people who want to start a business but question whether their idea makes sense. Thank goodness they usually ask this early on before spending tremendous amounts of time and income on a business idea that might just end up not making sense – or income. Laxative Potato Chips anyone? 🤢

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December – National Write a Business Plan Month!

December – my favorite month!

·     The beauty of the start to winter

·     The joy of the holiday festivities

·     College basketball season getting into full swing. (Go UB Bulls! 🏀💙🤘)

·     Birthday celebrations (Mom, Husband, Godson, Mine!)

In my professional geekdom, however, the best part is that the entire month is devoted to my work as December is – National Write a Business Plan Month!

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3 Months, 2 Goals, 1 Checklist – 2019 Home Stretch!

We are down to the wire for 2019 and into 4th quarter. Feeling great about your business?

When 2019 began, hopefully, you made your strategic plan for the year. At the very least, you set some critical annual goals for yourself. Now – nine full months completed – how are you coming? 

Continue reading “3 Months, 2 Goals, 1 Checklist – 2019 Home Stretch!”