Wow, I don't know about you, but January was crazy in our house! We had two birthdays (our oldest son turned 17 and our youngest daughter turned 10) and we traveled to Florida for some great fun vacation time in the sun. Our music school enrolled 40 new students and we passed a new milestone: 560 students are enrolled in our school and take lessons every week!
I just finished teaching a 5 Day Mini Course on Online Marketing and the response was outstanding.
Here's what people are saying:
"Thank You Jen and Chris! Over a year ago I hired Never Alone Business Services to redo the website for my business The Bayport School of Music...all I can say is that everything presented in this mini workshop will help your business reach more potential customers...Bravo!"
"So I watched the videos—very informative and clear, thank you, Jen!"
"Thank you for your investment in ALL of us!
Thanks for your consistent encouragement.
You DEFINITELY are fulfilling your calling, and we appreciate you much!"
"Thanks! You gave me a lot to think about."
"Hi Jen! Thank you so much for this very helpful mini course! You are awesome!"
If you missed out on the course this week, but would still like access to the free mini course, just email me and I'll get you access to the 5 videos! ALL the videos disappear on February 9, so you have one week to jump in!
Too busy to watch all the videos? I get it! Life can get crazy! Even if you just hit play and passively listen, you'll get ideas and clarity for your business. You don't have to do all the homework right away to still greatly benefit from the content!
So what's next for you? As January fades away and we walk into February, I find that now is a great time to finally fix your website and get those print materials finished. As I catch my breath from a busy January, my calendar is now open and ready for YOU. Just book a call with me if you need help with:
Do you ever wish someone would just take you by the hand and show you how to use Facebook better for your business? Have you been looking for someone to sit beside you and just give you the basics of how to make online marketing work for YOUR business? Have you been on Instagram and wondered how on earth is works? And what about Google Ads? Are you getting coupons from Google but you have NO clue what to do next?
Well this is your lucky day. I've put together a free 5 day Mini Course on Harnessing the Power of Online Marketing. Whether you're new to online marketing, or been doing this a long time, you're sure to get fresh perspective and some helpful tips and tricks for leverging the online platform to grow YOUR business!
It's easy to get signed up. Just click here and you'll be all set:
Have more questions? Wondering how this all works? Just watch this quick video where I answer your most commonly asked questions:
I work with people every day just like you. They are busy. They are in charge of so much. Their heads are spinning. But they all know that if they could just increase cash flow, it would fix so many problems. They could afford more help. They could grow to the next level.
Well, I'm here to tell you that marketing fixes cash flow. Yes, it costs money to advertise. But when you get new clients from marketing CORRECTLY, you'll continue to increase your marketing budget because you see that it WORKS.
I don't want you to waste your money with marketing. So first take this mini course so you can be sure that you are doing things the RIGHT way. The way that will actually work and get your business growing!
Sign up and join us! Class starts on January 29!
Join here: https://www.neveralonebusinessservices.com/mini-course.html
It's true. You are a busy business owner who needs a break. You need to step away from everything and re-focus, re-energize, and re-connect with your spouse and family.
If you feel like stepping away is absolutely impossible, we need to analyze WHY.
1. Do you have trustworthy staff in place?
Does your staff know exactly how to handle every scenario that comes up in your business? Do they have permission to act and solve those problems? Are they used to you stepping in and solving things? Or have you enabled them to solve problems just like you would?
2. Are you still doing all the work?
Depending on the size of your business, you may still be doing all the work or delivering the service/product. This is, of course, how every business begins. However, in order to grow, you have to start hiring staff and delegating so you CAN get away.
3. Are you constantly playing catch-up?
I talk to many business owners who just can't catch up. There are always emails and problems and projects that are unfinished. If stepping away from your company for a week breeds panic because you would fall even more behind, you need stronger systems in place. You are only one person. You need support, staff, and systems so you can see the big picture and stop putting out all the fires.
I am not trying to discourage you. No, I'm trying to shine the light on areas you can improve. I'm trying to allow you go to on vacation!
If you can paint a vision of what you want for the future, you can attain it.
If you can see it, you can chase it.
If you know where you are going, you will get there.
If you can imagine yourself packing up, leaving your company in good hands, and able to unplug for a week, then you can decide to do whatever it takes to get there.
It's all about staffing, training, and systems.
If you regularly get away from life and business, you can attest how powerful it is to get perspective and return to work more energized and refueled to take your business to the next level!
This week, our family is headed to Florida for some time in the sun and fun together. When I get back, I'd love to talk to you about joining my coaching program. If you're desperate for solid systems that allow you to go on vacation (multiple times every year), let's talk.
Every week I've been adding new private coaching clients to my monthly calendar. I can actually hear the relief in their voice when we start working together. I wanted to take a quick moment and explain what coaching can do for you and your business.
1. One-on-one coaching gives you personal attention so we can focus on exactly what you're going through.
2. One-on-one coaching tailors our time exactly to your personality and learning style.
3. One-on-one coaching gives you tangible, actionable steps to move your business in the right direction.
If you're tired of wondering if you're doing the right thing, it's time to get a business coach on the phone so you can confidently grow your business!
Which one are you?
Ramp up Rhonda:
You're at the beginning stages of your business. Sometimes you have so many ideas that you're not quite sure where to focus next. You're making money, but not enough. Your biggest challenge is needing a strategy. You want to be sure you're headed in the next direction. You need a plan and you're tired of flying by the seat of your pants. You know you're meant to do something big. You just need a little help getting there.
Next Level Natalie:
You've been in business for awhile now and you have people working for you. You're contemplating changing the name of your business, moving to a bigger location, or really turning up the volume on your marketing so you can get to the next level. Your challenges are having enough time to get it all done. You need a plan and you need it fast. You're ready to really grow, but you want to be sure you're doing everything at the right time and in the right order. You know that with a few strategic moves, your business could really take off.
Benefits of Never Alone Coaching:
1. Monthly one-on-one 30 minute calls. We'll lay out a concrete plan so you know exactly what to focus on next.
2. Personality and strengths assessment, to really understand how you're wired and how this affects the growth of your business. Together, we'll discover how to turn up the volume on what you do best so you can LOVE your business.
3. Website assessment to fully optimize your online marketing approach. You'll receive a video with feedback about your website--what's working, what's not, and what we recommend to get your business moving in the right direction.
4. SEO assessment to ensure your business is showing up online in a big way. We'll give you suggestions on what you need to improve to maximize your online presence.
5. Facebook Page assesssment to unlock the potential of Facebook for growing your business. You'll receive a personalized video with feedback about your Facebook Page so you can crack the code on marketing on Facebook.
6. 9 week Video Course to help you assess your systems. If you can create less stress, more sanity, and more systems at HOME, then you'll grow your business faster.
7. Self-paced journal to help you focus your vision and know exactly where you are headed next.
Is Never Alone Coaching right for you? Let's talk. Book a call HERE.
What is a business? A business is simply seeing a need and filling it. Having a solution for a problem.
If you sell something or provide a service for something that people need, and are willing to pay for it, you have a business.
That's it in a nutshell. When you boil down what we do, we find a need and we fill it.
How do you grow your business? Well, people need to know about your solution! You have to express that you understand their problem and clearly explain the solution. But this is complicated, isn't it? Sometimes it's hard to relate to the people we are selling to. Sometimes we don't like to promote ourselves. And sometimes we are so busy providing the solution, we actually don't have time to promote at all!
Here's where systems come in. You have to have stable, dependable systems to promote the solution to the problem that your people are facing. You can use your website, email, Facebook, direct mail, word of mouth, etc. But you can't decide to promote your business only when business is slow. Honestly, your marketing and advertising needs to be a system in itself! Do you have a repeatable process that is a checklist that you complete every single week?
If you don't have enough people seeking the solution that you offer, then focus on your marketing. Focus on improving your messaging. Make sure you are speaking to the need that your customer already knows they have. They have pain--and you have the solution. Simply put, that is marketing and advertising.
If you need some feedback on your marketing message, for a very limited time (only until February 5th) I am offering website and Facebook Page assessments. Book a 30 minute call with me here and for only $97, I'll get you my honest, knee-jerk reaction to your website and Facebook page. You'll come away with actionable items and steps to tweak and improve your messaging and your marketing. Normally, I charge $300 for this assessment. But I feel very strongly about you getting this done. So grab your time slot (it must be booked before February 5th) and take advantage of this super low price. Only $97. Here's the link again: https://www.neveralonebusinessservices.com/coaching-call.html
Let's make sure you're speaking your customer's language. Let's make sure they clearly understand the solution you provide to their problem. Let's do this together!
In 2003, I had a two year old and an infant and a husband in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. While he was recovering from an internal infection explosion and spending a week in the hospital, I was busy taking care of my babies and running back and forth to the hospital. Getting the mail, and taking over paying the bills, I found credit card statements that I did not know we had. I discovered we were $20,000 in debt from credit cards alone.
The world stopped that day.
I looked around at our brand new townhome that we had just built and a brand new SUV that we had just purchased and I realized the very, very deep pit we had dug for ourselves. Soon after my husband was home from the hospital and the weight of our situation settled on me, I laid in bed feeling trapped and confused and angry and alone. I imagined grabbing my two young boys out of their cribs and leaving my husband. How did we get here? How did this happen? What does our future hold?
I didn't leave. Instead, we declared that this was our turning point. We made the hard decision to sell our car and our brand new, beautiful house. We worked very hard and deliberately over the next 5 years to get out of debt. The budget was sliced and diced until it felt like nothing was left. It was time to stop ignoring the budget and the numbers and the mess. We had to tackle this head-on.
I bought food that would stretch as far as possible, using recipes with the word frugal in the title. One day in the grocery store, an older gentleman saw me using a calculator as I placed each item in the cart. Every decision mattered, and he could tell. Very gently, he pointed out the discount bin in the meat section—it was the meat that was set to expire in a day or two, and deeply discounted in price. I stocked my freezer each week from that bin, and we filled in the gaps with pasta and rice. I cut coupons for everything, and drove to several stores each week, just to find the best deal for milk and toothpaste. I vowed to not purchase anything without a coupon. I treated myself to a gourmet coffee only on Tuesdays, when the mochas were discounted to $2.00. In the drive through window, I handed the barista my assorted change, embarrassed that it came from crevices in my couch and the change drawer in my minivan.
In the summer, I only shopped at garage sales, and even then, my husband begrudgingly handed over a limited amount of cash and change for me to use. (I think my mother-in-law saw what our predicament—because she offered to buy the kids shoes every year. What a blessing!)
The entire whole time that we clawed our way out of debt and attempted to re-wire our brains and lifestyle, I was growing my small business. The motivation to make more money to support our family was overwhelming. I did what I knew how to do, and I relied on books and friends and other business owners to fill in the gaps. I was desperate to make my little company grow.
At that time, I taught piano lessons and I hired other piano teachers to teach lessons as well. To make more money, I knew I had to multiply myself. I handled all the billing, scheduling, and administration. People called me for lessons, and I matched them with a teacher who would come to their home for lessons.
I worked every afternoon, while my kids napped, working on developing new systems and new organizational tools for my staff. I wrote emails and newsletters late at night, when my kids were finally asleep. I kept business books I wanted to read on the back of the toilet and read a few pages in the bathroom every day. I took walks with the stroller and the tricycles and prayed for wisdom and direction and ideas. I had a separate cell phone for the business, but because I was so busy with the kids, it sat in the drawer until I could answer the calls while my husband gave the kids a bath at night. I was so embarrassed to make follow up calls at 8:00pm, but my prospective clients were grateful that I had gotten back to them. I was good at what I did and I closed nearly every sale, steadily adding new clients and growing my business.
During this whole time, we were also church planting. My husband was a youth pastor and then an associate pastor, and because the churches were brand new, they couldn’t afford to pay very much. I desperately wanted to grow my business to supplement our small ministry income.
The darkest days of this journey was when my husband switched from one church to another and the new church couldn’t pay him at all. He has amazing techy skills, so he was hired right away as the computer guy at a fairly large company. However, with the commute in traffic every day, he was gone from 7:45am to 6:30pm. He would arrive home exhausted, and collapse on the couch. As he lay on the couch, and the kids begged him to play, my eyes would shoot daggers at him as I finished prepping for dinner. I had been home all day with a new baby, 3 year old, 5 year old, and 7 year old and wanted to collapse on the couch, too. He was exhausted and I was exhausted and I didn’t know if our marriage would make it or if we could survive this season. I found myself in tears daily as I tried to do tasks that I wished he were home to do for me: assemble the bike rack on the back of the van, kill the spider in the basement, shoo the bee out of my kitchen, change lightbulbs, and replace water filters.
Daily I would think: this is not what I signed up for. This is not what I wanted to do with my life.
I knew that the job of a mom was important and I wanted to be with my kids. But I also wanted to work and make more money for our family. I would stare longingly at my computer and count down the hours until the kids were napping or having screen time so I could work on my business.
Over and over, I thought: “If I could just make more money…if I could just grow my company…if I could just work harder…then things could change. If only I could enroll more students in my lessons and classes…if only I could figure out this marketing stuff.”
I read every book I could find. I scoured the internet. I talked to anyone who would listen to me at the park while my kids played. I tried so hard.
In 2008, my dad was laid off and suddenly the problem was bigger than just me and my small family. I saw my parents suffer and panic. I had to do something. Around my dining room table, we brainstormed, and together we launched a theatre company. They had been teaching music and theatre for years, and I had been running the administrative side of my music lessons business, and together I knew we could form a powerful partnership. But now I really had skin in the game. I was absolutely desperate to learn more practical skills for my business so I could make more money for myself and my parents. I dreamed of my husband being able to quit his job and work with me on my company so we could church plant without needing a salary from the ministry.
One day, while searching for answers online, I found a business coaching program, describing the answers exactly as what I was looking for. The price tag was absolutely shocking, so I quietly shut my computer and didn’t tell my husband for a couple months. I thought about it constantly and prayed desperately and fervently. How would I come up with the money for this program?! But how could I say “no” to the very answers I was so desperately seeking? I knew that taking this step would catapult me to the next level. I knew I had to figure out how to say “yes” to this opportunity.
When I finally got up the nerve to spill my secret to Chris, he was quiet. Finally, he looked at me steadily. “We can do this. We’ll figure out a way.” I was shocked. We had JUST climbed out of debt. I didn’t think there was any way we could swing the cost of this program. We couldn’t go backwards into debt. But my very frugal, very conservative, safe husband said, “We have to do this. We have to get answers. This isn’t debt—it’s an investment.”
This coaching program wasn’t just a purchase—it was a trip to a conference. We had to buy plane tickets and reserve a hotel room, plus pay for the coaching program. I thought I was going to be sick. But as I sat in that gigantic conference room, pen scribbling furiously with all the notes I was taking, I knew we had made the right decision. All the questions, all the gaps in my knowledge, all the wondering vanished. Here I had found answers. Here I found help. I found hope.
Fast-forward 5 years. My husband was able to quit his job—because our music school grew enough to more than replace his salary. We have a commercial location, three employees working our front desk (I don’t even answer the phones anymore!) and we have 30 teachers who work for us and teach over 400 students at our studio each week. Our lessons and classes grew, like I prayed! In fact, we had to knock down walls and build more rooms for more lessons!
My parents’ theatre company grew so much that they spun off with a different name. We share students and marketing, but we are two distinctive companies now. Both are thriving and growing!
I don’t have to shop in the discounted bin of meat anymore. In fact, I order groceries online and they are delivered to my doorstep. Just the other day, I visited my old coffee shop where I used to hand over my fistful of change. This time, I had $100 in cash in my purse. I started to get tears in my eyes. How things have changed in only a couple years!
We have NO credit card debt, we travel at least 3 times a year, and we enjoy the freedom of working and schooling from home. We have been to Washington, D.C., North and South Carolina, Texas, California, and Arizona in the last two years. We travel because we love it. We love showing our kids different cultures and giving them experiences that they will remember forever. The money we invested in the coaching program was quickly recuperated as my business immediately started growing and thriving with the answers that I had been seeking. We’ve continued to invest thousands of dollars in classes and coaching and conferences. Never once have we regretted our purchase.
As our business has grown and been streamlined, one of the most important things we’ve gained is time wealth. As we have worked through a very specific, deliberate process to re-define what we want for our life, eliminate time wasters, and automate processes in our business, we have fallen in love with life again. We have time to spend with our kids, have friends over for dinner and deep discussions, and time to help other business owners. We love helping and serving at our third church plant (without having to ask for a salary!) and raising and homeschooling our kids.
The number one question that people ask me is "How do you do it all??" My answer is found in the acronym “REAL.”
Redefine where you are going.
Eliminate time wasters
Automate everything you can
Love what you do and do what you love.
This formula has transformed my life and now I’m focused on helping others change their life, too! Together, Chris and I help business owners take the important, proven steps to improving their lives and their businesses. I’ve done it for myself, and I’ve helped many others achieve the same results! It’s hard work, it’s intentional, and it’s not overnight. But the results are worth it! Your family and your business need you to make this change. And I’m going to show you how. (Read more in my book, Happy Kids Growing Biz. Click here and get it for free.)
I don't know about you, but it's been a crazy month so far! Things have been going wrong and staff has needed to be replaced. Kids schedules are being set and adjustments are being made for the whole family.
My friend said something really profound to me the other day. When I lamented that things keep going wrong, she said: "It's okay. You're just getting clear on what you really need."
Woah. That hit home. Every time something goes awry, I get more clarity on what needs to be changed and improved. Every time a staff member doesn't work out, I realize what I need to look for next time. Every time something breaks down, I realize I need to put a new system in place to prevent the same thing from happening next time.
Owning a business is tough, my friends. (It's also awesome.) It is definitely NOT for the faint of heart! There is so much to manage and so much to do. There are always problems (and they land on your shoulders, because you're the business owner).
But now is NOT the time to quit. Don't give up. Instead, use this opportunity to figure out what you really need. What support is missing in your life? Who do you need to hire? What new system needs to be in place? What can you tweak or improve?
I memorized this poem when I was young and it's always stuck with me. (It's longer than this, but here's just a little taste for you.)
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Whatever you're going through, please know that you're not alone. We're here to help you and encourage you and cheer you on. If we can help you with any of your business needs, please let us know. We're cheering you on.
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!
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