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Essentials to Jump Start Your Business (Part 1)

Essentials to Jump Start Your Business (Part 1)

This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Alison Dodge with Allied Bookkeeping + Business Coaching. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with an immense amount of knowledge on how to both start a business and run a business for it to work for YOU. I wouldn't be where I am today with Grasshopper Goods if I didn't have Alison coaching me along the way.

Soooo... let's dive into a bit on Alison's journey!

Alison's background in entrepreneurism goes all the way back to 2004 when she had an idea to start her own business. She had just had her son, Liam who was only six months old, and wanted to start a business for new parents. Not only would it be a retail store to buy things they needed but also be a resource center where they could build community and gain helpful resources as new parents. With her business partner, they built Happy Bambino into a thriving business and sold it 12 years later.

However this was not the end of Alison's entrepreneurial journey. Through Happy Bambino, she met her future business partners who were building the company that was most recently known as Madison Family Fest. The main part of this organization was a huge in-person event for parents and families from all walks of life. A business they have recently closed due mainly to the pandemic.

In 2017, while Alison was working full time as a business consultant (when I actually met Alison), she was being asked to help with business coaching from those in her circle. This led Alison to the realization, "wow, I could really turn this into a business!" And so, as a side hustle, she started Allied Bookkeeping + Business Coaching growing to what is now her full-time, finding herself back in the entrepreneurial world.

Although, she never really left ;)

Speaking with Alison, we had such great conversation on the entrepreneurial person and entrepreneurial journey. A big realization is that the entrepreneurial journey is far from linear... if anything, the journey is much more similar to that of a web and extremely idea driven.

Look at Alison's journey, for example. While her first business is no longer in her life, it led her to all of the other pieces of her journey. She embraced her journey by listening to her gifts and connecting with others always staying open-minded.

Now, let's get into some business essentials! What can you do TODAY to help begin building your business?

Market Research

Talk to your friends + family who would be in your target market and ask them questions. Send out surveys or post surveys on social media. The goal is to really understand if people would buy your product or service idea. Is there a need in the market?

Write A Business Plan

And it does not need to be perfect! It's all about answering questions that you may not have thought of. The most important pieces of this plan being 1) the executive summary of your business which really becomes your elevator pitch and 2) the numbers, which almost everyone hates. However, understanding the numbers (even if it is mostly guesswork) is crucial to ensure you're staying in alignment with what works for you. 

If you're looking for help in either of these areas, we highly recommend looking up Small Business Development Centers in your local area. They can provide incredible resources for help writing business plans, doing market research, and other early steps in building a business.

For online resources, www.score.org is a great site with free business plan templates and other great templates for business building. Another great site is, www.sba.gov, which is the U.S. Small Business Administration which has a ton of other amazing resources. 

Alison's interview was full of so much great information that we divided the interview into two parts! If you'd like to listen to the interview, head to the podcast by clicking here

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