Steps to Success: Trixie Tips & Tricks

Trixies Tips

Along my journey to this life of mine I have been asked over and over again

“How did you get here?”

Which I follow up with

“How much time do you have?”

But for now, I thought I would shorten the story and give you the tips and tricks…

  • Buffer This is similar to Hootsuite but IMHO (in my humble opinion) WAY better. Buffer has already done all the research to know how many algorithms one needs to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other Social Media so you don’t have to worry about it. I love how easy it is and how friendly the team is. If you need anything, they all take care of you and I mean right away! Which is awesome. Speaking of Awesome, they have an Awesome Plan once you decide to break free from the FREE plan. This is great for Start Ups, Entrepreneurs, Organizations, Non Profits and anyone who is currently a “One Man/woman Band”
  • Pablo by Buffer is my next rocketfire tool I love and adore. I am a Motivational Speaker as well as a “few” other skills I have and perform and so with this skill and Motivational Speaking and Empowerment session, using pictures for Twitter and Pinterest, pictures are an essential tool I have found for engaging users and helping with my Conversion Rate and to gain Followers. I would swear by this tool for anyone who wants to take the next step in their business.
  • Commun.it Communit is great tool to help you mange your Twitter account. It keep track of who follows you, comments, retweets and basically anyone who engages with you. Then it helps you to prewrite your Thank Yous and Tweets to those people and acknowledges those new followers on Follow Friday. Again this is a FREE option but you can upgrade to a paid plan to allow more connection.
  • Canva Think Canvas with out the S. Consider it a series of pre-done designs ready for you in your personal and business life. Guy Kawasaki is the Evangelist for this great site! WE have even chatted via Twitter (which was way cool) and I love the fact that he took into account the things that I needed as an Entrepreneur and planning a wedding. I asked for Info-graphics, I got info-graphics. I love that! I love the response from him and other Customer Service requests that seem to streamline with my life personal and professional as I need it.
  • WordPress By now I assume you have heard of WordPress. One BIG things I love about WordPress is that it is free. When I was in Web and Social Media Strategy I ALWAYS turned my clients to this method first. Pay for a domain on Go Daddy then go to your dashboard and then Forward with Masking to your WordPress site. This saves you dollars and cents of Monthly hosting fees that are generally unwanted and unneeded. I have hosted a variety of sites on other platforms and always come back to WordPress. Free themes, Tutorials, and Easy to Use interface.
  • Go Daddy I buy and manage all my Domains through Go Daddy. They have 24/7 customer service and if you WANT, you can have them design the website for you, use one of those, or do as I said above and forward your domain to WordPress.
  • Meetup Recently I just moved to Denver and ironically this is one of the most used Networking Sites I have found. In Iowa and before when I was in California, I barely remember anyone using this. Here, EVERYONE seems to use this. I think some haven’t’ quite got the grasp on it and how great it is, but I see this taking off for more and more others in the industry. It is great as a New Kid in Town or to find Chamber meetings and even more so, in my world, Startup and Entrepreneur meetings. In addition to finding and connecting with other Women Who StartUp.
  • 123Print I use 123Print for all my Stationary Needs as Much as I can. If they don’t have it I go to BuildASign which I will talk about next. 123 has shown me superior quality and superior customer service. I never hear what others hear from using another brand. I NEVER want people to say “Or this is a __ card” and know where I got them. I will tell them however, your card should speak for you, not where or what company you used to get them.
  • BuildASign I use this company for all my Banners, Car Magnets and Bumper Stickers. The more you order the better deal you get, as like with others, but they have even called me to tell me my design is off center and wrong and a desire to help fix it. Other copies just sent you crappy quality and don’t care. I now have two banners by them and two sets of car signs. I order one bumper sticker first to make sure it is what I want, and then I order away with the rest once decided.
  • PicMonkey If you are making or using pictures in anything you do, motivational quotes or even for a LinkedIn picture, this is a great tool to update it, add features and have some fun with photos.
  • Portrait Professional For a more professional look and higher class of editing, consider this tool. It really makes those pictures on LinkedIn pop! (hee hee Graphic Designers hate that word)

Services

  • Hire a Graphic Designer Do yourself a favor and spend the money to hire a Graphic Designer. You can use a College Intern perhaps in the beginning, but if you are serious about your work, your brand, your company, pay the money for the good one. Make sure your agreement with them allows you to obtain or have the EPS files as well as PDFs and JPEGs so that you can use that collateral for your cards, social media etc. The eEPS gives you the reign to change Designers later on if needed.
  • Interns I have leveraged the use of Interns in MANY of my businesses. For one thing, many times you don’t have to pay them. They need hours, you need help. that IS their pay. No matter what your need, I am sure there is a college or high school that has an intern twitching to get their hands into work, experience, and knowledge from a professional. Call or email high schools or interns in your area and find one that works for you.

Well, that’s it for now. As more come up I will add to the list! Thanks for following on Trixie Tuesday!!

Until Next Time,

Xoxo Trisha Trixie

Be Fabulous (REd Apron)

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Bootstrapping

I never knew until recently what that word meant. I did not realize it applied to how I run my business. Most people know Bootstrapping to be

By the sweat of my brow” or “By the seat of my pants” type of financially funding for their business.

I was at a network luncheon and overheard the term and when explained I realized, oh, that’s me, that’s what I do. OR at least what I have tried to do. Even that I feel at times is failing. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with failing. IT helps you see what not to do, it helps you see things in true colors and also helps you learn how to manage things and what works and doesn’t for you financially and profitably.

Here are a few places I found some information on “Bootstrapping”

Bootstrapping, getting a lot done on very little cash

http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/bootstrapping

“It’s never easy, and it’s not always glamorous, but bootstrapping will force you to become a better, stronger entrepreneur with a more vibrant business. “

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/02/06/8-ways-bootstrapping-makes-you-a-better-entrepreneur/

Entrepreneurs who bootstrap have a major advantage: They can operate in relative secrecy for a period of time, staying off the radar as they fund their own operations. And that can make all the difference in maneuvering around competitors and building a great product

For most start-ups, bootstrapping is an essential first stage because it:

  • Demonstrates the entrepreneur’s commitment and determination.
  • Keeps the company focused.
  • Allows the business concept to mature more into a product or service.
  • Gives the concept a chance to be vetted by the market.
  • Allows some milestones to be achieved.

Relatively early in the process, before you get deeply in debt, decide how far you want to go on personal financial risk (such as by depleting your savings, selling off your stock portfolio, liquidating your 401(k), taking equity out of your home, running up your credit cards, or pledging personal guarantees). This will help you know when to move beyond bootstrapping to finance the business.

Primary sources of the cash necessary for bootstrapping are from the start-up entrepreneur. These include:

  • Cash from savings.
  • Borrowing against assets, such as your home.
  • The careful use of selected credit cards.
  • Keeping your day job, while starting the business in off-hours.
  • Living off your spouse’s wages while starting the company.
  • Doing consulting work to provide start-up cash for the business and for living expenses.
  • Rushing an early product to market to provide for early revenues and earnings.
  • Running extremely frugal operations, allowing the company to grow on internally generated cash earned on the sales of products.

These are some tactics to stretch your bootstrapped cash runway:

  • Lease or borrow the equipment you need to acquire new, such as computers.
  • Buy fixed assets such as furniture used or from “fire sales.”
  • Go as long as humanly possible without paying yourself.
  • Compensate advisers and consultants with equity, good will, and in-kind services. Salaries end up being the largest part of expenses and once you start paying, you can’t cut them off. You will also end up paying FICA and other related expenses which drive up actual cash expenses significantly.
  • Call in past favors and rely on personal relationships to get things done for free.
  • Use lawyers and accountants to help you with judgment issues, not basic education issues. Negotiate the delay of payments for services until the company is funded. Use public sources to learn the basic parameters before starting the fee clock.
  • Be frugal everywhere-drive instead of flying, choose cheap hotels, and use your personal computer and printer.
  • Find out the real, unmet need versus shotgun marketing to drum up unqualified sales leads. Spend money on marketing only if you must.
  • Post job openings and see who applies. Many will be unemployed people that will work for deferred compensation or equity with the hope of someday getting cash payment.
  • Network everywhere to leverage connections and personal introductions by others.
  • Get to know the people from whom you hope to get money before you desperately need it.
  • Keep records of all out-of-pocket expenses. Once you raise money, you may be able to reimburse yourself first before taking a salary to lessen tax issues.

Continue bootstrapping as long as possible, but know when it’s time to seek investors. Postponing fund-raising to the extreme can cripple the company, especially when the window of opportunity is short (as is often the case in technology start-up companies). Potential investors will recognize and value your bootstrapping resourcefulness in starting your company.

http://www.entrepreneurship.org/resource-center/bootstrapping.aspx

Cohesive to this term is “entrepreneurship”

the process of identifying and starting a new business venture, sourcing and organizing the required resources, while taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture.”

I have been an entrepreneur for a few businesses now. I would have to say the fashion business I am in for the past year and a half has been the most rewarding as well a the most challenging and daunting.

My definition…

Entrepreneurship=Bravery to try it all out in the first place, Courage to try new things, Determination to keep going when those things fail (and they will), Drive to succeed- no matter what, preparation to change that definition of success, the willingness to fail, the strength to get back up again, the thick skin to be tough what other say against your business AND you, gratitude for every aspect of what it takes to run a business, late nights, early mornings, and most of all the passion to smile through it all because it means something to you.

Until next time,

Xoxo Trisha Trixie